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Human Failure (Menschliches Versagen)

Human Failure
"Human Failure" (artwork courtesy of Sentana Film)

The expropriation of the German Jews benefitted virtually every other German citizen.

It was not the Gestapo who invaded Jewish residences in order to confiscate all assets - from bank accounts to the last shirt - it was the German tax officials.

A bizarre competition evolved between bureaucrats as to how one should organize the robbery of the Jews before they were expelled or sent to the gas chambers.

Larger assets went to the tax offices, and the smaller assets and goods were sold to friends and neighbors in public auctions of "non-aryan" property.

Many of the documents proving this expropriation were lost or destroyed; the ones that remained were hidden away.

A search for traces...

Michael Verhoeven was born in Berlin in 1938 into an acting and directing family. He studied Medicine in Berlin and Munich and qualified as a doctor in 1969. He appeared as an actor on the stage and screen in the early 50s and 60s and has been working as a screenwriter, producer and director since 1967. His award-winning films include: Dance of Death (Paarungen, 1968), O.K. (1970), A Terrific Exit (Ein unheimlich starker Abgang, 1973), Sunday Children (Sonntagskinder, 1979), The White Rose (Die weisse Rose, 1982), The Nasty Girl (Das schreckliche Maedchen, 1989), My Mother\'s Courage (Mutters Courage, 1995), Zimmer mit Fruehstueck (TV, 1999), Uncovering of a Marriage (Enthuellung einer Ehe, TV, 2000), The Unknown Soldier - What Did You Do in the War, Dad? (Der unbekannte Soldat, 2006), and Human Failure (Menschliches Versagen, 2008).
Genre History
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2008
Director Michael Verhoeven
Screenplay Michael Verhoeven, Luise Lindermair
Cinematography Britta Becker
Gabriele Kroeber
Sami Hammi
Producer Michael Verhoeven
Production Company Sentana Filmproduktion/Munich, in co-production with WDR, Bayerischer Rundfunk, SWR
Length 90 min
Format color
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Jerusalem 2009
Awards Avner Shalev Yad Vashem Chairman's Award Jerusalem 2009
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
World Sales
National Centre for Jewish Film
Brandeis University
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