Remember | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


Memory and forgetting play out in this contemporary drama about Holocaust survivors


Canadian director Atom Egoyan directs this contemporary drama about a pair of Auschwitz survivors seeking revenge. Zev Guttman (Christopher Plummer), who has dementia, escapes from his nursing home, under the explicit written instructions of another resident, Max (Martin Landau). The men reunited there after having been at Auschwitz together. They have made a pact to hunt down and kill a Nazi concentration-camp guard, a man who killed their families and has long lived in the United States as “Rudy Kurlander.” Zev’s search takes him across the country to meet various “Rudy Kurlanders,” even as his short- and long-term memories fade in and out. The quest seems doomed: Though Max assures Zev he will recognize Kurlander, can he? And who would admit to being such a monster? Both the ability to remember and to forget are critical to surviving trauma, and Zev, in his twilight, shifts uneasily from state to state. Eighty-six-year-old Plummer isn’t resting on his laurels here, delivering a performance that feels more heartbreaking by the minute.



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