Close to Evil – A haunting and expertly-crafted documentary

With Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental
in Bratislava, Slovakia
© Kieran Horgan

Earning a runner-up spot in the Best Irish Feature Documentary Award last year, despite screening as a „work in progress“, Close to Evil returns with an extended cut featuring all-new footage. An RTÉ Radio interview marking Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2012 is the catalyst for a remarkable two year journey. Holocaust survivor Tomi discovers one of his former jailers — Hilde Lisiewicz is alive and living in Hamburg. Lisiewicz is a convicted War Criminal. Nevertheless Tomi reaches out to Hilde to offer reconciliation. Hilde asserts she is “a victim of victor’s justice”. This prompts Tomi to investigate the SS woman’s claims of innocence. Unexpectedly Tomi’s odyssey ends where his story began, back in his native Merasice, meeting the ghosts from the past and embracing a German woman directly related to the man who played a role in the liquidation of Tomi’s family.

Alexandra Senfft, featuring with Tomi Reichental in Gerry Gregg’s film «Close to Evil»
on RTE 1 (Radio Telefis Eireann’s), Irleand
1 September 2014, 9.35 pm