The banality of conformity, fear, indifference is the origin of evil: this is what Final Account tells us about, the last, rigorous investigation by documentarian Luke Holland (he passed away this year) on the tragedy of Nazism and the Holocaust. A collection of over 250 testimonies that began in 2008, to question not the victims of the horror but its accomplices: German citizens that at the time were very young members of Nazi organizations or civil who lived and worked near the concentration camps. Women and men that were from the opposite side of the trains loaded with people and ignored (or tried to ignore) the smell of the ovens. Maybe frightened to end up like those locked up there, or because htey didn’t care at all of those “others”: «The burning of the synagogue», says a witness of the Crystal Night, «did not affect me much. I felt no compassion for the Jews». Young people raised on bread and propaganda that joined regime because this meant «being part of a group, of an élite».
Terribly “normal” people. But it is this normality that the oppressions and massacres of yesterday and today feed on. This is why Holland’s film is something more than the umpteenth confrontation of cinema with the most emblematic trauma of the Twentieth century. Final Account is a showdown of consciousness: ours and of the interviewees, between those admitting their responsibilities and those still hiding behind alibis or even refusing to condemn the crimes of Nazism. A confrontation that leaves restless: for what happened, for what is happening, for what could happen again.