VIFF 2014: The Decent One a stunningly well-crafted documentary

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      The Decent One (Israel/Austria/Germany)  

      Told entirely through letters and journal entries discovered at war’s end, this stunningly well-crafted documentary lays out the whole horrible life story of the Holocaust’s principle architect, SS chief Heinrich Himmler. It carries amazing time capsules of cruciblelike places and times of the twentieth century, eventually making more terrifying the constant, carefully worded stream of bland self-justifications that emerge as Himmler climbs from stuffy college student despised by his fraternity brothers to bourgeois chicken farmer to unblinkingly cruel master of the fate of millions—all while treating his family like sentimental ornaments.

      As a study in fatal compartmentalization, it should be seen by anyone with a modicum of real power.

      International Village, September 28 (9:30 p.m) and October 2 (2 p.m.)