Film Review: ‘Aftermath’

[from Variety website]

Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s controversial drama about the 1941 massacre of Jews in a Polish village frames Holocaust atrocities in problematic genre terms.

by Ronnie Scheib

Inspired by Jan Gross’ book “Neighbors,” about the 1941 massacre of a Polish village’s Jewish population by their Catholic neighbors,Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s “Aftermath” retools the material into a fast-paced “backwater burg with a dark secret” quasi-horror film, complete with spooky lighting, ominous music, unexplained phenomena and hostile townfolk. The idea of framing Holocaust atrocities in contemporary genre terms, although intriguing, is not without its perils, and the secret, when revealed, looms too large to fit within the plot’s parameters, creating strange disconnects between form and content. Having unleashed a firestorm of controversy in Poland, “Aftermath” will be received Stateside as simply another fictionalized Holocaust revisitation.

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