Here’s the latest from /Film
The first season of “Hunters” was simultaneously like a bolt of lightning and a lightning rod. Its presentation of the atrocities of the Holocaust was heavily criticized for exaggerating real-life horrors and trivializing them as a result. Its tonal inconsistencies were often misinterpreted or disregarded as careless and messy. Certain scenes were deemed overly theatrical or dramatic to a fault, and arguments were made that the message was lost as a result. Some folks also just didn’t like it, and that’s fair.
The exaggerations of the Holocaust are a double-edged sword. They’re necessary because the world increasingly acts as if the Holocaust as we know it is in itself an exaggeration or an outright lie. And yet, exaggerating things further, making them more horrific because the truth no longer seems to horrify people, puts the community at risk of being disregarded as liars. The wild and erratic tonal shifts across the season were carefully constructed, capturing parts of the Jewish experience that are truly difficult to explain. Where humor and levity can co-exist with deep wells of sorrow and grief, that’s who we are. That’s how we exist and move through the world, with a bleak, self-aware sense of humor and profound reverence for the past and our history.
Everything in season 1 served a purpose, and it served it beautifully, all the way through to the end when neo-Nazi Travis Leich (Greg Austin) hired a Jewish lawyer to represent him only to murder him in cold blood and in plain sight of his cellmates. He shouted “Jews will not replace us” as he stabbed the lawyer repeatedly in the back. The same words shouted by a parade of white supremacists at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017. The season ended with the chilling realization that Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino) was in fact Willhelm “The Wolf” Zuchs himself, a literal wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing to try and protect himself. As if the implications of Operation Paperclip weren’t bad enough.
There’s a lot to discuss there, but that article already exists, and I hope you read it.
On top of it all, the final frames of the season revealed the horrifying truth that Adolf Hitler was still alive. “Hunters” season 2 picks up that baton, but it stumbles repeatedly while trying to carry it…
Thank you for reading this post.