Featured in the United Nations Film Festival Association – a new film about the aftermath of the Holocaust, when German and Jewish leaders bridge an impossible divide and meet in secret to grapple with the first reparations in history




OFFICIAL SELECTION - United Nations Association Film Festival

Jewish Studies  Diplomacy and International Law • Post World War II • Holocaust •  Reparations and Restorative Justice  • Model for Truth and Reconciliation

Date of Completion: 2022 | Run Time: 74 minutes​​ | Language: English, German, and Hebrew Captions: No | Director: Roberta Grossman | Producers: Roberta Grossman, Karen Heilig | Co-Producer: July Hodara

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, German and Jewish leaders met in secret to negotiate the unthinkable – compensation for the survivors of the largest mass genocide in history. Survivors were in urgent need of help, but how could reparations be determined for the unprecedented destruction and suffering of a people? Directed by award-winning filmmaker Roberta Grossman, RECKONINGS is the first documentary feature to chronicle the harrowing process of negotiating German reparations for the Jewish people, which resulted in the groundbreaking Luxembourg Agreements of 1952. Filmed in six countries and featuring new interviews with Holocaust survivors, world-renowned scholars and dignitaries and the last surviving member of the negotiating delegations, the film powerfully models how political will and a moral imperative can join forces to bridge an impossible divide. By confronting the past, the German and Jewish leaders charted a better future for a desperate and traumatized people. Their actions led to the first time in history that individual victims of persecution received material compensation from the perpetrators.

School Library Journal | Maggie Knapp
"[I]ts detailed and careful analysis of establishing German reparations to Jewish victims of Nazi persecutions show how dedicated people intelligently deal with almost impossibly challenging questions. ... For educators who explore the question of whether the U.S. owes reparations for past actions (to descendants of enslaved people; for seizure of tribal lands), the film highlights how Germans faced their past. A worthy film for mature ­audiences, sure to spark discussion."

Roberta Grossman speaks to students and communities about Jewish history and documentary filmmaking as a tool for social justice. Grossman received the 2018 Washington Jewish Film Festival’s Annual Visionary Award, which recognizes “creativity and insight in presenting the full diversity of the Jewish experience through the moving image.” In the past ten years, she has directed and produced four feature documentaries about Jewish history and culture – BLESSED IS THE MATCH (2008); HAVA NAGILA (The Movie) (2012); ABOVE AND BEYOND (2014), WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY (2018), and RECKONINGS (2022). Grossman’s work also deals with women’s rights in SEEING ALLRED (2018), and Native American history and contemporary struggles in 500 NATIONS (1995), HOMELAND: FOUR PORTRAITS OF NATIVE ACTION (2005) and ISHI'S RETURN (2018). Grossman is a three-time recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is the co-founder of the non-profit production company Katahdin Productions. She received her undergraduate degree with honors in history at UC Berkeley and her M.A. in film from the American Film Institute.