In early-1960s Israel pornographic, possibly anti-Semitic novels that detailed sensational tales of the torture and rape of male concentration camp prisoners by curvaceous female Nazi guards rapidly rose from marginal pulp reading to mass-market popularity.
Ari Libsker’s documentary “Stalags” is named for these pocket-size books, which were written under American pseudonyms in a style that suggested translation. (They were in fact done in Hebrew by Israeli writers, some of whom appear on screen.) The film examines the rise and fall of this short-lived craze and the doors it opened for discussing the Holocaust, a previously hush-hush subject in Israel.
The film also considers possible inspirations for the Stalags, from the 1961 trial of the high-ranking Nazi Adolf Eichmann, which exposed sexual abuse within concentration camps, to the works of K. Tzetnik, a Holocaust historian or fabricator, depending on whom you ask. (His books recounted similar atrocities.)
Preceding “Stalags” is Roee Rosen’s “Two Women and a Man,” an intriguing 16 minutes of trickery that offer a seemingly biographical portrait of a female artist and writer, and is a warm-up exercise in how society perceives indecency. “Stalags” carries this line of inquiry forward, cramming an overwhelming amount of information and ideas into its 63 minutes — not nearly enough time to explore satisfactorily all that it raises.
DVDRip | MKV | 718 x 426 | AVC @ 2000 Kbps | 62 min | 986 Mb
Audio: Hebrew AC3 2.0 @ 192 Kbps | Subs: English, German (embedded)
Genre: Documentary | Israel