The trouble with Holocaust movies is that they're about the Holocaust; they resurrect an illustrious horror, habited by history's most reliable demons, with little to say except that, yes, this was a tragedy.
ADAM RESURRECTED isn't likely to fit anyone's definition of a Holocaust movie. As director Paul Schrader (AFFLICTION) summarized, "It's a film about a man who once was a dog who meets a dog who once was a boy." Clear enough?
Jeff Goldblum plays Adam Stein, a Jeff Goldblum-esque Jewish entertainer who survived the concentration camps by being the personal dog for Commandant Klein (Willem Dafoe).
While his wife and daughter were being incinerated, Adam was entertaining on all fours, fighting with a German Shepherd over scraps, and getting his ears lovingly scratched.
Ever since, he's been in and out of a psychiatric hospital for survivors in Israel.
There, the ex-magician casts his spell over patients and staff, particularly his gorgeous nurse Gina (Ayelet Zurer). But when Adam discovers an abused child in the hospital who acts like a dog, it brings back his traumatic past--and may offer a chance for redemption.
Based on the novel by Yoram Kaniuk, ADAM RESURRECTED is a mystifying mixed metaphor that skirts the edge between reality and dream. Enhancing the uncanny atmosphere is Goldblum who, warbling in and out of his German accent, is a delight to watch.
If meaning is opaque, the film is resolutely fearless, with many moments not often seen on film--including a Nazi appearing from a burning bush, canine sexual roleplay and an adolescent in loincloth being led by chain--or likely to be seen again.