At first he looks up to his father, but as he gets older, Yaar understands that his father suffers from the families history. Because he is afraid of being swallowed by the subject, he rejects everything Jewish and rebels against his father.
When Yaar decides to be accompanied by a camera for the purpose of this film, he is ready to face his heritage – including all painful experiences this might entail. He embarks on a journey that eventually takes him closer to his roots.
Yaar associates Judaism with nothing but victims who allowed themselves to be led to the slaughter. He accuses his father of suffering from the Holocaust although he never even experienced it firsthand. Yaar rebels by developing a computer game: "Shoah. When God was asleep”. He creates a 1940s Germany in which Jews can defend themselves and Nazis can act humanely. His father is shocked.
Yaar develops the game together with his two friends Sarah and Marcel. He decides to model one of the game’s protagonists, a young Jewish girl, on his grandmother Rina. Her opponent is an SS officer, who is inspired by one of Marcel’s actual ancestors. The three friends agree: the old assignment of victim and perpetrator roles prevent them from being able to do what they so desperately long for: to move on! The past should finally be left behind them.
Together with his friends he visits Rina’s birthplace, Krakow, and uncovers a terrible family secret.
The three realize that the past is strongly connected to them - the grandchildren of the victims and perpetrators. Thus begins a painful confrontation with their own history, which will also change the relationship between Yaar and his father.
Yaar has to find his way between the trauma of preceding generations and his own claim to an unburdened life.
The Holocaust as a computer game?
We are convinced that new forms of remembering are needed today:
We are convinced that new forms of remembering are needed today. The last witnesses of the Shoah will soon be gone, and textbooks alone are not enough to keep the memory alive. Yaar with his game, and we with our film, are taking steps in a new direction. How do I deal with the fact that my ancestors were victims or perpetrators? And what is the difference between guilt and responsibility? We are all connected to this part of history, no matter how aware we might be of the stories of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Our protagonists are young, funny and daring. Their views are controversial and raise topical questions: What does the Holocaust have to do with me, personally, today?
TACHELES - The Heart of the Matter is a project against forgetting that makes the Holocaust accessible for the grandchildren’s generation.