The Goethe Institute's series of films on the Holocaust continues with Ilse Hofmann's "The World That Summer," which screens Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. at Martyrs Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust, 6605 Wilshire Blvd.
On the surface, Hannes Hacker, the bright 12-year-old hero of "The World That Summer," seems no different from other Hamburg boys captivated by the 1936 Olympics and going on outings of the feverishly patriotic "Jungvolk," whose members were automatically graduated into Hitler Youth at the age of 14. But Hannes (Jan-Claudius Schwarzbauer) is different, for his mother is Jewish.
Adapted by Robert Muller from his 1959 autobiographical novel and directed by Hofmann with a devastating light, cool touch, "The World That Summer" captures with a convincing authenticity daily life in the Third Reich--and the shaping of Hannes into a little Nazi. It is a time of escalating and virulent anti-Semitism, which has already infected Hannes' young friends.
Only Hannes' older sister, whose affair with an alleged Communist proves a further threat to her family, faces their predicament squarely, asking her despairing father why they don't emigrate to Britain, France or Holland? "The World That Summer," which is involving nevertheless, was shot in a high contrast black and white, not merely to match deftly incorporated newsreel footage but to convey the harshness of the era. The film series is being presented in conjunction with the Museum's current Anne Frank Exhibition. For more information: (213) 854-0993.