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"We are the last living survivors from our prison block. Besides me, you are the only person who could still recognize the man who killed our families."
Max Rosenbaum's letter

A 2015 Canadian-German drama-thriller film produced by the companies Egoli Tossel Film and Serendipity Point Films.

It follows Zev Guttman (Christopher Plummer), an 89-year-old survivor of The Holocaust, who seeks to hunt down Otto Wallisch, who murdered his family as well as that of fellow Holocaust survivor Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau).

Not to be confused with the webcomic of the same name.

Remember contains examples of:

  • Asshole Victim:
    • John, the cop who turns out to be a Neo-Nazi.
    • Zev/Wallisch and Kurlander/Sturm, who were Nazis that pretended to be Jewish to escape punishment after the war.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Averted. Two Nazis are dead and Max receives justice for his family, but everyone is shaken by the revelation that two friendly and kind old men were, in fact, murderers that got away with their crimes for so long. Everyone's thoughts including the audience is left to YMMV.
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  • Becoming the Mask: Zev/Otto Wallisch, who lived as a Jew for decades and has forgotten his past as a Nazi. It's implied he already loathed himself prior to his dementia for his past atrocities. He immediately shoots himself on remembering. Kunibert Sturm, the last Rudy Kurlander who he kills, also shows signs of this.
  • Bring Me My Brown Pants: Zev wets his pants when John starts screaming at him after learning he was a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • The last Rudy Kurlander's youngest daughter and his granddaughter are horrified when they learn that he was a Nazi and not a Jewish survivor as he'd always claimed.
    • The same goes for Zev's son when he learns the same about his father.
  • The Chessmaster: Max manipulates Zev into carrying out his mission, relying on the fact that he has dementia and cannot recall his true identity.
  • Children Are Innocent:
    • Averted: John's father was a cook for the Nazis at the age of ten, but their values stayed instilled in him even after the war when he could have known better. He continued to believe in those values and passed them down to his son.
    • Played straight for Molly, who doesn’t understand what Auschwitz is.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Zev is Wallisch.
  • Deconstruction: Of The Promise and Revenge. Due to his advanced age and dementia, once Zev leaves his nursing home to travel the country in spite of his condition, it leads to numerous problems, such as needing to depend on Max's letter to remind himself of his task, forgetting to pack clothes, not having enough money, falling down while crossing the street and nearly getting run over, wetting himself, and so on.
  • Dramatic Irony: The cop thinks that Zev lied to him about being a Nazi and is actually a Jewish survivor. It's actually the other way around.
  • Driven to Suicide: Zev cannot live with the knowledge that he was once a Nazi and chooses to shoot himself.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • The Rudy Kurlander in Bruneau had a son and a grandson. His son also married and divorced twice, loves his father and son, and also admired his father.
    • The last Rudy Kurlander, Kunibert Sturm, had multiple children and is living with his youngest daughter and his granddaughter. When Zev threatens to shoot them if he doesn't confess, he does so.
    • After Otto Wallisch took on the persona of Zev Guttman, he married a Jewish woman named Ruth and it's implied that he truly loved her and their son Charles.
  • Everyone Has Standards: It appears Max chose not to inform Zev's wife Ruth about his true identity as Otto Wallisch due to her having terminal cancer, knowing the reveal would devastate her.
  • False Friend: Max, from the day he entered the same nursing home as Zev, recognized Zev as Wallisch. Max instead chooses to falsely befriend Zev and take advantage of Zev's dementia to trick him into playing out the events of the movie.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When Zev meets the last Rudy Kurlander, Kurlander comments that a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust wouldn't like Wagner's music (which Zev was playing on the piano while waiting for Kurlander to awaken), to which Zev states that it would be like not liking music at all. Later, Kurlander hugs him and says that he knew that Zev would come find him, which is rather odd, since a Nazi officer at Auschwitz would be unlikely to remember every single prisoner there, or alternatively, Kurlander meant that he knew a survivor would go after him at some point, yet he still greets Zev unapprehensively despite his helplessness? Both were Nazis and brothers-in-arms.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The cop's dog is a German shepherd named Eva. The part about the breed seems like a harmless coincidence, since police dogs can be the same breed. It turns out the cop is a Neo-Nazi.
    • When Zev is taking a bath and looks at the showerhead, faint sounds of people screaming can be heard. If Zev had been a prisoner at Auschwitz and been inside a gas chamber, he would not have survived. This is a hint that he was actually a Nazi.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Max's confession letter at the end, it is written that Sturm took the name Rudy Kurlander from a Jew killed in Auschwitz's gas chambers and that Zev/Wallisch personally shot at least Max's father and cousins.
  • I Am a Monster: Zev learns he is Wallisch, and kills himself after learning this.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Max urges Zev to find the blockfuhrer who had killed their loves ones in Auschwitz and kill him, because their old age will kill them before he can be found and put on trial.
    • The Rudy Kurlander in Bruneau, Idaho passed away a few months before Zev could find him. He had a son and a grandson. However, he had been only a boy then and a cook, but passed on Nazism to his family.
    • The last Rudy Kurlander lives in a big house with his youngest daughter and his granddaughter who love him dearly and think he was a Holocaust survivor. Averted in the end, in which they see him as a Broken Pedestal after learning his true identity and he gets killed in an emotional confrontation with Zev.
    • It appears to be subverted with Max at the end of the film as the closing shot shows he has written a confession to his plan.
    • Zev, until the end.
  • Like Father, Like Son: The Rudy Kurlander in Bruneau passed his Nazi beliefs on to his son.
  • Meaningful Name: Zev means "wolf" in Yiddish. Sturm tells Zev/Wallisch he chose the name to remind himself that he was a "wolf", i.e. a hunter.
  • Mistaken Identity: Zev mistakes two of the Rudy Kurlanders as Otto Wallisch, the man he's hunting. The first only fought in North Africa with Rommel, while the second was himself a Holocaust survivor. Thankfully, in both cases he doesn't kill them before learning of this, even with his dementia.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In his old age, Rudy Kurlander/Kunibert Sturm is implied to have viewed his service in the SS as this. Zev/Wallisch, learning his own true identity while under dementia, views his own actions as this as well and kills himself.
  • Nazi Grandpa: Zev is hunting for one, the former SS blockfuhrer at Auschwitz who killed his and Max's families, Otto Wallisch. Due to his dementia, he's forgotten that he is Wallisch. Kunibert Sturm, his former comrade, is another example. Both appear to hate what they did in Auschwitz though, subverting the usual portrayals.
  • Nazi Hunter: The film's main premise. Max is a retired one, Zev turns out be a Nazi who's a Nazi hunter.
  • The Plan: Max and Zev, two Jewish men in a New York City nursing home, have put together one to track down the Nazi Otto Wallisch who killed their families before he dies (or they do). It's revealed Max also has a second one-Zev is Wallisch, so Max's manipulated him into hunting down his accomplice and then himself.
  • Police Are Useless: The security guard that stops Zev at Target when he walks out with an item still tagged with a security marker finds that Zev has a Glock. He leaves him be instead of wondering if an elderly man should be walking around with such a gun or if he even has a permit. You would think he'd at least call the police.
  • The Promise: Zev and Max vow they will hunt down the Nazi who killed their families before either he or they die.
  • The Reveal: Zev is the Nazi Otto Wallisch, who he had been hunting.
  • Revenge: This is Max and Zev's motivation-to kill the Nazi who murdered their families.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Zev is 89 and suffering from severe dementia, to the point he often forgets what he's doing or that his wife recently died. Not only that, but he forgot his own Nazi past.
  • Shout-Out: The girl at the hospital, Molly, mentions liking Disney Channel and Phineas and Ferb. Zev understands Disney as in Mickey Mouse, though is unfamiliar with the latter cartoon.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: After some previous hints, it's revealed that Zev is the Nazi he's been hunting.
  • Vigilante Man: Max and Zev are determined to kill the Nazi who murdered their families. The former is too feeble for action however so Zev is sent out on the hunt.
  • Wham Line: "You are Otto Wallisch!"
  • Wham Shot: The final shot of the film shows that the picture of Otto Wallisch, which had been hidden from the viewer until then, depicts a young Christopher Plummer.

"I remember."