My Best Enemy

47th Annual Chicago International Film Festival:

For Diaspora films with Jewish content, my favorite this year is the German-language “Holocaust comedy” My Best Enemy. Moritz Bleibtreu (so chilling as infamous terrorist “Andreas Baader” in The Baader Meinhoff Complex back in 2008) stars here as “Victor Kaufmann,” the pampered son of a prestigious art dealer. Victor’s playboy days end abruptly in 1938 when the Nazis annex Austria, but with a little good luck and some help from family friends, Victor learns how to live by his wits.

Although midway through I wondered where the “comedy” was, I was able to relax into the genuinely happy ending thanks to a luminous performance by Marthe Keller as Victor’s mother “Hannah.” Together, Victor and Hannah prove yet again that “he who laughs last, laughs best!”

Moritz Bleibtreu

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