Search - Inheritance on DVD

Actor: Monika Hertwig
Director: James Moll
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2009     1hr 15min

Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, a soft-spoken woman grappling with a profound legacy left to her by a father she never really knew. — Monika's father was Amon Goeth. — Often described as a monster and inhuman, Am...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Monika Hertwig
Director: James Moll
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, History, History, Military & War
Studio: Docurama
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/06/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 15min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Sins of the fathers
Jean E. Pouliot | Newburyport, MA United States | 12/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Monika is the real-life daughter of Amon Goth, the infamous commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp and a main subject of the "Schindler's List." Monika, a tall, rangy and emotionally fragile woman, has spent a lifetime coming to terms with the monster who was her father. In his film, she arranges to meet Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, who along with her own mother was employed as a cook by Goth at Plaszow. The women hope for a cathartic encounter that will purge them of their shame and horror.

Oddly, Monika comes off as the more sympathetic of the two women. Her emotions are raw, unhealed and close to the surface. Helen has lived for years with the effects of the cruelty experienced and witnessed at the camp, and her story is smoother for frequent repetition. Both women clearly are victims, and both bear the scars and shame of the past. I felt viscerally how passing through the Holocaust changed lives forever, despite the passage of decades. And I saw how the evil of the fathers is visited on future generations.

The film is generally easy to watch, with many Goth family photos interspersed with photos of Jews being herded onto tricks or marched off to work. An exception is a graphic filmed execution, which though bloodless, is affecting. Such such footage is rarely seen on sanitized American television.

The subtext of "Inheritance" is a meditation on the question of evil. How could the serene and sensitive Monika have been sired by one of the twentieth century's more brutal villains? Her story shows that biology need NOT be destiny. What remains unanswered at the end of the documentary is the question of how Goth's soul became so twisted. Fans of the movie will be interested to see how well Steven Spielberg rendered the Goth villa, Schindler's factory and other landmarks."
Excellent, Moving Documentary
The Movie Man | Maywood, New Jersey USA | 01/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Inheritance" is a documentary that tells the story of two women with very different scars from the World War II genocide of European Jews. Now in her 60's, Monika Hertwig has struggled a lifetime with what she learned at age 11 -- that her father, Amon Goeth, had not been killed in World War II like other soldiers, but was hanged as a war criminal when she was a baby. Over the years, she forced herself to learn more about Amon, but when Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" came out in 1993, Monika became sick with the truth. Helen Jones was 15 years old when she arrived with other Jews at the Plaszow Camp in Poland, which was both a work camp and a death camp. She was singled out by Amon Goeth to live in his house as a servant. Decades after the Holocaust, Helen's appearance in a German television documentary captured Monika's attention, and the two women arranged to meet at the Plaszow concentration camp memorial to the thousands who died there. Director James Moll ("The Last Days") tells a fascinating story of the effect of the Holocaust on two individuals decades later. We see Monika's compulsion to learn more about her father, a man she had never known, and the pain with which she learns the extent of her father's crimes. The documentary also shows the power of film to move people. It was Ralph Fiennes' chilling portrayal of Amon Goeth in the Spielberg film that motivated Goeth's daughter to come to terms with the kind of man her father was."
Poignant documentary of two women struggling to come to term
z hayes | TX | 04/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In director James Moll's "Inheritance", we are introduced to two women who have something in common - they are both connected to an infamous war criminal, Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow concentration camp during WW II, who was eventually hanged for war crimes.

Monika Hertwig was Amon Goeth's daughter and only child, though she never knew her father since she was born just before he was hanged. Despite this relative unfamiliarity with her own father, Hertwig is very much affected by his actions, carrying the burden of guilt all these years. Her most intense impression of him is Ralph Fiennes' portrayal of Amon in the movie "Schindler's List." When Hertwig sees an interview with Helen Jonas on television, a Jewish woman and former Plaszow inmate who had been a slave worker in Amon Goeth's household during the war, she decides to meet her to get a better understanding of who her father really was.

The documentary shows viewers these two women's journey - Hertwig from Germany and Jonas from New Jersey to the site of the Plaszow camp. Their meeting is poignant for all the raw emotions it stirs up in both women. Helen Jonas' anger and sorrow at what was done to her and other innocents is evident, but she also shows compassion towards Monika Hertwig who ironically appears to be the more vulnerable of the two, a rather bewildered expression on her face as she listens to Jonas' recounting the events of the past.

Both women are ultimately victims of a ruthless and merciless man, though they have been affected in different ways. Monika Hertwig is the daughter who struggles to understand what kind of man her father was and why he did what he did, carrying the burden of her father's sins. Helen Jonas not only suffered untold depravity during WW II, but continued to suffer through the years, struggling to come to terms with all the horrors she and others endured during those terrible times.

There are some extras on this DVD: a 5 min interview with the director and cinematographer, "Behind the Score" where the viewer gets a look at the actual recording of the score, a bio of the director etc.I would highly recommend this documentary to those who are interested in the Holocaust.