Adolf Eichmann was one of the chief architects of the Holocaust,  helping to organize the process of detaining Jewish people in ghettos  and later supervising the transportation of many to concentration camps.  Though not as widely known as Josef Mengele, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich  Himmler or even perhaps Leni Riefenstahl, Eichmann was directly  responsible for making the Nazi regime such an effective agent of genocide.

When he was brought to trial for his role in the Holocaust, he  claimed that he was only following orders. He presented himself as a  dispassionate bureaucrat who only wanted to do his job. This inspired  people to write about the “banality of evil.” Though this film is about  Adolf Eichmann, it’s anything but banal.

True crime’s finest spy

The film is told from the first-person perspective of the lead  Israeli secret agent, Zvi Aharoni, who tracked Eichmann who was then  living under the false name “Ricardo Klement” in Argentina over 15 years  after the end of the Second World War. Aharoni describes the final days  of his search, the plans that were made to capture Eichmann, and how  that plan was executed, all while the artwork of writer and director  Randall Christopher flows across the screen in a bold, sketchy fashion.

Though there is not much written about Aharoni, Christopher spent  months engrossed in research about the man before starting his film.  Knowing that the film was based on the interviews and rare first-hand  accounts of the operation given by Aharoni before his death in 2012  makes all of these elements that much more dramatic.

Better than Bond

The sequence of events is presented with all of the tension and  suspense of the best of James Bond’s exploits. This true crime story has  many of the tropes of Hollywood’s most famous spy thrillers: secrets,  false identities, stakeouts, car chases, smuggling, and world-altering  stakes. Above all is the most fascinating aspect of Zvi Aharoni’s story:  revenge. Growing up in a large, Jewish family, Aharoni was a patriotic  German. However, the Nazis killing the Jews of Germany, including many  of Aharoni’s family made his cultural connection to Beethoven and Brahms  strained. Capturing the architect of the Holocaust was not just his  duty as a German-born patriot upholding the just values of his country  though; it was a pursuit to avenge his family who were murdered by the  system Eichmann created.

Because Nazi hunting is relevant now

Over the span of two years, a Randall Christopher went from Googling  “Adolf Eichmann” to presenting his film on Eichmann at Sundance film  festival. Two years spent researching, drawing, and writing in his spare  time. The story of the creation of The Driver is Red and the  life of Zvi Aharoni both show how much can be done by highly motivated  individuals. During the Q&A session after the film’s screening,  Randall Christopher reminded the crowd that Less than a year ago, Nazis  were marching in the streets of the United States, underscoring the need  for films like this to be seen and for stories like Aharoni’s to be  celebrated.

The Driver is Red is a compelling film in every way. The  amazing story of a German Jew hunting down the architect of the  Holocaust is complemented by the fantastic characterization provided by  voice actor Mark Pinter and the kinetically charged animation of Randall  Christopher.

The film will be hosted online for the ShortList, The Wrap’s short film film festival from August 8 to the 22nd.

Image: Facebook

Video: Editing by Phil Akin and Emily Reuben, Camera and Reporting by Jeremy Rogers

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