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Dramedy – 2017 | 102 minutes
Director: Sam Garbarski
Language: German w/ English subtitles
Community Partner: Adat Chaverim, Women of Adat Chaverim, and Adat Chaverim Brotherhood; The Legacy Senior Communities
At the end of the Third Reich, most surviving Jews from the Holocaust understandably left Germany as quickly as possible. But former Sachsenhausen inmate David Berman sees his scarred homeland as the land of opportunity. He recruits Jewish traveling salesmen in a shady scheme selling overpriced linens door to door to guilt-ridden Germans. Meantime, he faces interrogation by an American military intelligence officer about his past as an alleged Nazi collaborator.
This film is based mostly on co-screenwriter Michel Bergmann’s debut novel, “The Traveling Salesman”, inspired by his own family history. The movie and novel try to answer the question why 4,000 Jews elected to stay in Germany after the war. With a jaunty Klezmer-style score and Yiddish-inflected dialogue, this polished drama is tempered with bittersweet humor. Ultimately, it is an engaging salute to European Jews who chose to tough out painful memories to reclaim their lives.