We Were So Beloved. 1986. USA. Directed by Manfred Kirchheimer. 145 min.
“A no less harrowing examination of conscience than Shoah and Marcel Ophuls's Sorrow and the Pity” (Vincent Canby, The New York Times). In 1936, at the age of five, Manfred Kirchheimer fled Nazi Germany with his parents and struggled to make a new home in New York. Fifty years later, he draws upon interviews with family and friends (and quotes from Mein Kampf) to make this deeply personal and evocative documentary about the 20,000 German Jewish emigrants who similarly escaped the Holocaust and took refuge in Washington Heights, creating a thriving community known as Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson. Kirchheimer’s film is born of intimate experience and anguished reckoning, a shared sense of fear, guilt, hope, and even complacency and cowardice.