The Maelstrom makes extraordinary artful use of considerable cache of home movies shot in the Netherlands before and during World War II and dealing with the extended Peereboom family.
Information is conveyed through subtitles and instead of voice-over, the soundtrack consists of period sound, usually from radio broadcasts, and brooding, disturbing jazz score by Tibor Szemzõ. What wee see is a Jewish family first living unknowingly in the shadow of the Holocaust and then trying to cope with it still unaware of what it will finally mean. A shot of the film's photographer Max Peereboom, and his family we've come to know, cheerfully sewing and doing general preparation for a trip to a "work camp" when their destination was in reality the nightmare of Auschwitz adds a devastating dimension to our understanding of the Final Solution that nothing else, no Hollywood movie, no documentary, has been able to provide.
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