It seems that every year there are at least a dozen World War II-related films made. So many exist already that one gets weary thinking about seeing another. Yet it also seems that every year there is at least one that stands out from the rest. This year, documentary filmmaker Manfred Becker made Fatherland. Following his own life as the son of a German military man and the father of a Canadian teenaged boy learning about his heritage, Becker documents his struggle to find the right way to teach his son about Germany’s part in the war. Afraid that his own father will fill his son’s head with positive views of Hitler and the German army, Becker is sometimes guilty of smothering his very intelligent, yet patriotic son. Growing up in the 1960s, Becker seems to carry more guilt and shame for being German than the men on either side of him, and the film becomes more about his hang-ups with his own father and his heritage than it is about teaching history to his son. (Lindsay Gibb)

Dir. Manfred Becker