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What Happened Here?2012

  • 3.9
WHAT HAPPENED HERE is a personal essay and a "road movie" seeking the site of Leon Trotsky's birth and home town, virtually unknown today due to Joseph Stalin's attempt to erase him from Soviet history. It follows the trail to the Golan Heights of Israel where Mikhael Derenkovski, the last survivor of Koloniya Gromokley, tells his story about a town defiled and a family destroyed by the Einsatzgruppen SS. It speculates about politics, virtue, home-towns and the filmmaker's job. Its antecedents are essay films by directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Chris Marker, where personal experience, opinion and history combine to point out the subjective nature of what we think we know.

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Member Reviews (4)

Rare and unique moment in history and an important and forgotten history maker life.

1 member likes this review

was hoping for a film on trotsky by someone who understood and admired him, but this film isn't that. the filmmaker consistently confounds trotsky/leninism with stalinism and on this basis the film fails before it really gets going. too bad, because we could really have benefited from a good film about trotsky from someone who understands that rather crucial difference.

comparisons to marker and godard are a bit of a stretch, too, alas...

1 member likes this review

What starts out as a most interesting trip into the youth of Leo Trotsky and to his birthplace, soon becomes a documentation not only about the Bronsteins (Trotsky's real family name) but also of the lives of the people still living near the now vanished town (Koloniya Gromokley) where Trotsky grew up. In the second part the film centers around a massacre of the german SS killing almost all the jews in Koloniya Gromokley. Touching and shocking to see how the memories of the cruelties and murders some 60 years ago are reflected on the faces of the witnesses.

An outstanding piece of humanist film making.