Watching the Argentine thriller The German Doctor gave me a sick feeling — which is precisely what a film such as this should do.
PG-13 for thematic material and brief nudity
For 27 years, Robert Denerstein was the film critic at The Rocky Mountain News. Read more of Robert's reviews at Denerstein Unleashed.
In adapting her novel Wakolda, director Lucia Puenzo tells a fictionalized story about Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. Auschwitz’s Angel of Death fled to South America after the war and managed to elude those who sought to bring him to justice.
No need recounting Mengele’s crimes, which are skillfully implied by Puenza. The story begins when Helmut Gregor (Alex Brendemuhl), a doctor, takes up residence at a seaside hotel run by a husband and wife team (Diego Peretti and Natalia Oreiro). The couple’s daughter Lilith (Forencia Bado) isn’t growing at a normal rate. The myserious Gregor offers to help the girl, quickly revealing that his interest has a frighteningly sinister edge. As it happens, the family has located in a part of Patagonia where German influences prevail.
Desperate to see her daughter progress, mom accepts Gregor’s help: Dad is more suspicious. The story is made creepier by the fact that we know Gregor’s true identity long before either Lilth’s mother or father.
The German Doctor is a speculative story that gets under your skin. It’s weirdly chilling.