Film Review: ‘Fog in August’ Appearing at The Washington Jewish Film Festival

The horrors of the Holocaust have been portrayed many times in film, most notably Schindler’s List and The Pianist. One such horror, however, has never been a focus of film study: the euthanasia program used by the Nazis that claimed the lives of 5,000 children. This horrendous act is brought to light in haunting fashion by Kai Wessel’s Fog in August.

Wessel tells the story of 13-year-old Ernst Lossa (Ivo Pietzcker), a Roma boy who is sent to a German mental hospital in 1942. His reason for being sent there stems from anti-social behavior exhibited in similar institutes. Ernst’s father comes to collect him but is unable to do so because his profession as a peddler keeps him from having a permanent residence. This sees Ernst being left at the hospital while his father seeks to find them a home. During his stay, Ernst makes friends with several of the other children in the hospital. However, when his friends start mysteriously dying, Ernst learns the true purpose of the hospital: it’s a euthanasia center for the Nazis. Upon making this discovery, he becomes determined to escape before he shares his friends’ fate.

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