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A spooky journey." - Time Out New York
In the spring of 2002, acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost 1 & 2, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) traveled to Vienna to witness the burial of the preserved brains of over 700 handicapped children. The victims had been murdered in a “euthanasia” clinic as part of the Nazi eugenics program that many consider the opening act of the Holocaust.
GRAY MATTER chronicles the director’s journey as he searches for forensic psychiatrist Dr. Heinrich Gross (notoriously nicknamed “the Austrian Dr. Mengele”), who not only allegedly participated in these murders, but also continued to experiment on the children’s remains for decades after the end of the war, while rising to prominence in Austrian society despite his past. Along the way, Berlinger meets clinic survivors and other remarkable voices whom shed new light upon this shadowy legacy and the nation that now grapples with its own denial.
Why has it taken so long to bury these brains? Should science profit from knowledge gained from such immoral atrocities? If Dr. Gross is indeed responsible for these crimes, how has he evaded justice for so many years? The film raises provocative questions about the nature of guilt, redemption and denial, prompting the Village Voice to write: “As Berlinger walks among jarred brains…one can’t help musing on the enduring ability of populations to ignore atrocity, shift blame and spin convenient myth.”
Director Commentary; Timeline of Events; Interactive Menus; Scene SelectionMore Info
"A spooky journey."
- Time Out New York
©2004 Third Eye Motion Picture Company. Art and Design ©2005 New Video Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Marketed and distributed in the U.S. by New Video.