Speer Goes to Hollywood

  • Israel, Austria, Germany
  • Documentary
  • 2021
  • 97 min.
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Speer Goes to Hollywood

  • Israel, Austria, Germany
  • Documentary
  • 2021
  • 97 min.

Synopsis

Albert Speer is an enigma. The highest-ranking Nazi in Nuremberg to be spared the death sentence, Speer was one of Hitler’s closest confidants and his chief architect, tasked with rebuilding Berlin as the capital of a global empire. Appointed Minister of Armaments and War production in 1942, Speer was responsible for 12 million slave laborers. And yet, even now, he has the reputation of being the ‘good Nazi’ – a myth he carefully constructed himself. The film meets its protagonist in 1971, while Speer was working on a screenplay for Paramount Pictures, based on his memoir “Inside the Third Reich”. Based on forty hours of previously unheard audio cassettes, recorded by screenwriter Andrew Birkin, it features Speer’s callous attempt to whitewash his past with a feature film. The audio narrative is supplemented by rare archival footage, from before and during World War II, during the Nuremberg Trials and later, during Speer’s retirement as a semi-reclusive country gentleman. At times juxtaposed and at times interwoven, those three timelines form the narrative of the film that provides ironic and chilling tension. Speer Goes to Hollywood is the film that Speer never made. Thanks to the cassettes, he is the narrator of his own life story, but in a way that he never imagined. The rare archival materials selected to illustrate his account offer us a chance to look beyond his words to ponder whether this eloquent but ultimately self-serving narcissist was recording history or recording his story?

Credits

Director(s)

Vanessa Lapa

Producer(s)

Vanessa Lapa, Tomer Eliav

Co-Producer(s)

Björn Koll

Executive Producer(s)

Manu & Cathy Schöngut, Stanley Cohen, Johnny Kneller, Philippe Laub, Agnes Steinmetz, Yossi Landesman, Guido Hettinger, Guy Lavie, Koby Gal Raday, Danna Stern

Editor

Joëlle Alexis

Original Music

Frank Ilfman

Original Language

English, German, French

With the support of

yes Docu, ORF, Makor Foundation for Israeli films, Claims Conference, Mifal Hapais

Associate Producer

Sylvain Goldberg

Written by

Vanessa Lapa, Joëlle Alexis

  • Winner

    Best Documentary Film
    Israeli Documentary Forum Awards
    2021
  • Winner

    Best Documentary
    Israeli Academy Awards
    2021
  • Winner

    Diamond Award for “Best Director”
    Jerusalem International Film Festival
    2021
  • Nominated

    Best Music Score
    IDA Documentary Awards
    2021

Festival Highlights

48th Telluride Film Festival, USA , Official Selection , 2021

Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival, Germany , Official Selection - Berlinale Specials , 2020

Moscow International Film Festival, Russia , Official Selection – Free Thought , 2021

Il Cinema Ritrovato – Bologna, Italy , Official Selection , 2020

  • Engrossing, groundbreaking and thought-provoking. Speer Goes to Hollywood is a must see.
    Etgar Keret, Israeli award-winning writer
  • Quietly stunning...Lapa has made a remarkable portrait of one man’s reinvention, and of compartmentalizing in hyperdrive.
    Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
  • Intriguing document, highlighting the ease with which the most reprehensible figures are able to whitewash their legacies.
    Beatrice Loayza, The New York Times
  • Speer Goes to Hollywood smashes the version of reality Speer was trying to peddle to the world.
    Interview by Nirit Anderman, Haaretz

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