The Testament (2017) - full transcript

Yoel, a meticulous historian leading a significant debate against holocaust deniers, discovers that his mother carries a false identity. A mystery about a man who is willing to risk everything to discover the truth.


Continuing the appeal against
the building project in Lensdorf,

where according to the claimant, there is a
mass grave in which some 200 Jews are buried.

How many excavations were
conducted in the area?

Twenty-one.

And nothing has been found?

The area in question
has been excavated,

but the mass grave
has yet to be found.

It's a very large area, it's
hard to cover so much ground.

Yes, appendix 32.

In one testimony, a woman
claims that she

heard Jews screaming in
front of her window. In this area.

Another one claimed that he saw a, uh,
truck, carrying Jews stop in this area here.

Perhaps the historian would like to tell
us where he wants construction halted.

In this area, or in that, or,
perhaps the entire town.

We ask that the freeze on the
construction remains in effect

until the grave is found.

With all due respect,
this town needs to grow,

and we have to step into the
future and not linger in the past.

The victims should not pay for
our inability to find the grave so far.

And so shouldn't the
citizens of our town.

If it is not stopped, the entire
area will be covered with cement,

and the graves
will never be found.

Sir, the Austrian Ministry of
Interior doesn't have the authority

to delay the
development any longer.

If new evidence comes to light
within the next seven days,

we'll be happy to examine it.

No appeal will be
accepted after that time.

I'll speak to you in German, and
you can answer me in English, OK?

In that case,
I'll answer in Hebrew.

I would like to open
our second session

on the matter of the
development in Lensdorf.

Thank you.

We've received no new evidence?

That's correct.

I understand you're
negotiating an agreement.

Yes, we are.

We believe we have
the new evidence.

Is this an assumption or a fact?

Fact.

And why haven't you
submitted it?

These are classified
testimonies.

We need to work it out
with the survivors.

This is unacceptable, sir.

You can't keep us waiting if you
haven't submitted any new evidence.

Yoel...

We would like to reexamine
our agreement,

since we got some new facts.

According to the law,
you don't have the authority

to require an immediate submission
of the classified documents.

Even if acting under
the Hague Convention,

you must submit a special
request to see classified documents.

When will you submit
all the new evidence?

In two weeks.

Are you aware of the fact that
if it turns out that you do not

have the required evidence,

the other party's
entitled to press charges?

We cannot accept...

Yes...

I give you one week
to submit all new evidence.

This meeting is adjourned.

Hello?

- Mr. Burm?
- Yes?

I'm Simon Falcon's daughter.

You know him?

Um... no.

I saw you in
my father's funeral. Remember?

No.

Mr. Burm, you are the only
person that knew him from the war.

Can I ask you a question?

What do you want?

Were you with him in Lensdorf?

Yes.

Guten morgen.

Good morning.

I understand the parties have
finally reached an agreement.

Madame, I want to point out that
the agreement we've reached

is based on the Austrian's official
recognition of the Lensdorf Massacre.

We certainly acknowledge
the possibility

that an atrocious massacre of
that kind could've taken place.

Yoel?

Madame...

I have the evidence needed to confirm
the exact location of the massacre.

And who are you, sir?

Dr. Halberstam.

Oh...

Excuse me,
I didn't recognize you.

These are the names of the Jews
who were massacred in Lensdorf.

These people were sent from Koszeg
to Lensdorf on the 24th of March, 1945.

After that,
all trace of them was lost.

This testifies to the identity
of the victims.

It is signed by Podezin,
the local Gestapo officer.

What is the source
of the document?

This document was found
in a prayer book

given to me by this survivor.

This Kluger was sent to dig a mass
grave and stole various documents

that Podezin intended to burn.

The Russian forces were only 10 kilometers
away, and Podezin wanted to cover the massacre.

He picked a group of 10 men out of
the Jewish forced labor in Lensdorf,

they were sent to dig a mass
grave in the forest,

north of the church.

Aryeh Kluger, Josef Heller, and
Herman Burm were in that group.

What about the bones
in the southern field?

The victims were not buried
in the southern field.

Once the massacre was over
in the forest,

these 10 men were sent
to cover the corpses.

That's when Burm
and Heller escaped.

The remaining eight were taken
to the southern field,

where they were murdered.

The Nazi's hardly
bothered to cover the bodies.

Those were the eight bodies the Russian
investigator testifies to in appendix B.

And that's why we could not
find the 200 there.

The question remains,
where is the mass grave?

We know you didn't find it.
These are all false allegations.

Madame...
this is the southern field.

This is the location
of the mass grave.

Mr. Burm knew that the grave
was located 1,247 steps

north of the church.

What he didn't know that the church
was bombed at the end of the war

and rebuilt
in a different location.

We've been digging
in the wrong place.

This...
is the grave's actual location.

I will review your
claims and reach a decision.

This meeting is adjourned.