It is often said that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
At the age of 14 every school child in Germany is taught about the atrocities that occurred under Nazi rule. Filmmaker Elena Horn returns to her small hometown in rural Germany to follow four children as they first learn about the Holocaust. From their study of the topic in history class, to their school trip to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, each of the children grapple differently with the gravity of their findings. Filmed over five years, the film offers a window into deeply rooted social and political attitudes in Germany amid a resurgence of the far-right and violent xenophobia. The collective memory of a nation’s history highlights the essential role of education to avoid repeating historical wrongs.
“My entire adolescence I struggled with the question: what would I have done? When times get harder, it’s easy to tell ourselves that the bad things we do are a necessity of human nature. But if we have learned one lesson, it’s that we always have a choice.” Elena Horn, director, The Lesson Continue