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Facing Arthur

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An extraordinary and moving look at the relationship between a young German descendant of a Nazi soldier, and a 101 year old Holocaust survivor who is too frail to leave his New York City apartment. Although being very different people, a strong bond forms, and changes both of them forever.

The first time they sit down to talk, Arthur Lederman pats 20-year-old Christoph Erbsloeh on the knee. “I wouldn’t want to be in your skin,” the 100-year-old Polish Jew tells the young German. “Because your children and your children’s children will always have a stamp: Hitler”

Before he was forced from his native Poland in 1938, Arthur was a renowned concert violinist. Christoph is a budding cellist. From the first awkward conversations, the two unlikely friends - the grandson of a German soldier and the refugee who escaped the Holocaust - discover that while history is unchangeable, their shared love for classical music and art can help them transcend their differences and their generations.

Through a series of carefully documented vignettes, the filmmakers chronicle the tragic loss of Arthur’s family in Poland, the quiet joy of celebrating a 101st birthday and the pain that comes from confronting your enemy on the living room couch.

By facing Arthur, young Christoph confronts the legacy of Germany’s Nazi generation and his own place in a modern Germany. Their relationship becomes a metaphor for examining the meaning of atonement and the possibility of reconciliation between historical enemies.

View a printer friendly version of this page...Awards:
  • 2003 CINE Golden Eagle Award
  • LosAngeles International Short Film Festival
    2002 Winner of Best Documentary Short
  • New Orleans Film Festival
    2002 Winner of Best Documentary Award
  • Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival (Sask. Canada)
    2002 Winner of Canada’s Golden Sheaf Award
    for Best Documentary Over 30 Minutes
  • Real to Reel Festival (Shelby, NC)
    2002 Winner of Best Documentary Award
  • Copyright Date: 2002 Length: 60 minutes Library Audience:
  • Young Adult
  • Adult
  • School Audience:
  • Grades 9 - 12
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Subjects:
  • History
  • Social Studies
  • Formats Available:
  • VHS Tape
  • DVD