‘The Last Supper’ filmmaker Florian Frerichs
Leading up to the 28th Washington Jewish Film Festival, we asked our filmmakers a few questions about their featured films.
In this edition, Director Florian Frerichs discusses The Last Supper.
What inspired you to tell the story of your subject or the story depicted in your film?
We got a bit annoyed by the depiction of German Jews in movies. In most historic films they are either being shown as helpless victims of the Nazis or heroic fighters against them – thereby drawing a clear line between being German and being Jewish. But that was not the case. Jews have been an essential part of the German population and society for more than 1500 years. They were German like Frisians, Bavarians or Saxons are German. It were the Nazis who tried to distinguish between Jew and German. But in fact, the Nazis fought and murdered a vital part of our own population and of our own identity. In our film we show a German family – that happens to be jewish. They feel like Germans. And they act like Germans. Because they are German. And so were their ancestors. We wanted to give a new angle on what it was like being a German of Jewish heritage, and also reflect on historic events not in retrospective, but through the eyes of those who at the time could not possibly imagine what was going to happen to them.
What was a particular obstacle you faced while making this film?
The budget of 65.000€
What do you want audiences to walk away with after screening your film?
To get a new angle on that particular time and to see similarities to our current political situation world wide.
Why do you think Washington, DC is a valuable location to screen your film?
Our film is historical and very political. It is set in Berlin, which after WWI became the most liberal an striving city in Europe – only to be overrun by the Nazis and their henchmen just a couple of years later.
Washington DC. still is the political capital of free world. But we must keep in mind how quickly and radical things can change.
What films or filmmakers have been the most influential to you?
Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Fritz Lang
Why are Jewish-interest films important today?
Antisemitic stereotypes have again become „en vogue“ world wide and in Europe in particular. This is due to migration from countries in which antisemitic agitation is part of the reason of state and spread by the governments. Jewish-interest films can help educate people about Jewish life and Jewish identity – and perhaps even show similarities between modern day refugees and migrants and the historic fate and struggle of the Jews. On top of that comes the Neo-Facist and chauvinist movement that has become very active and popular in almost every country in the world. We are convinced that countering that movement only politically won´t stop them from repeating the mistakes and crimes of our ancestors. But maybe culture can be the foundation and help to educate.