Red Trees

80+ min. In English & Portuguese w/English subtitles. Marina Willer, dist. by Cohen Media Group, www.cohenmedia.net. 2018. DVD UPC 741952841791. $25.99; Blu-ray UPC 741952841890. $30.99. HIST/BIOG
Not one's typical Holocaust documentary, Red Trees does not feature stark black-and-white footage of concentration camps and goose-stepping Nazis. Directed by first-time filmmaker Willer and shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer César Charlone, this is more a "visual essay," according to the press release. The project came about when Willer decided to examine her father's childhood as a Jew during World War II in Czechoslovakia. The title derives from her father's color blindness, which caused him to see the green in trees as red. Since Willer is a graphic designer by trade, she abandoned traditional interviews in favor of voice-overs while presenting stunning footage of places and buildings familiar to her father. Ultimately, Red Trees is about hope and a desire for a brighter future.
VERDICT Although a bit slow-moving, this documentary employs a unique perspective and is worth seeing for those with an interest in cinematography and in World War II history.

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