The Memory Thief
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For Lukas (Mark Webber), an ambitionless, socially isolated tollbooth worker, each day is indistinguishable from the next -- filled, from the onset of work until the end of shift, with thousands of cars that slide through his station. Day in and day out, he must contend with the monotony of the work, the rage of the drivers, and the nauseating stench of exhaust. Lukas' life turns an odd corner when a bigoted driver haphazardly tosses a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf into his booth in lieu of a fare; curious, Lukas retrieves the book and begins to comb through it, which catches the eye of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There are intriguing issues swirling around the film, but [director] Kofman never brings it to a boil, never finds the deeper, truer meaning inside the ideas he is grappling with."
‑ Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
"The film is (perhaps deliberately) as unbalanced as its protagonist, one whose fury ultimately seems directed either nowhere in particular or in too many directions at once -- until things eventually devolve into a Taxi Driver riff."
‑ Vadim Rizov, Village Voice
"A thoughtful, creative, and disturbing way to treat the numbness of Holocaust and genocide fatigue, through striking images of a man's bizarre transformation and obsession."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"Another case study delving into the hubris and insult of trying too hard to feel someone else's pain."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"The ambitious Memory is about coming to grips with the past (or not) and the ownership of memory."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Director Gil Kofman's attempt is noble in trying to show this descent into madness, but something rings false."
‑ Leba Hertz, San Francisco Chronicle
"Kofman includes real-life Holocaust survivors in his cast, a bold and unsettling stroke in a fictional story that's more challenging than most documentaries about the subject."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"The film deserves qualified praise."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"The Memory Thief, the first narrative feature by Gil Kofman, grants intimate entrance into a needy person's life -- a life bent around the facts of the darkest hours of the 20th century."
‑ Michele Kenner, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"In The Memory Thief, a strange and melancholy journey to the heart of madness, a rootless young man finds meaning in the horrors of a stolen past."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"Tragedy and closure, memory and truth are the subjects of writer/director Gil Kofman's first narrative feature."
‑ Maureen M. Hart, Chicago Tribune
"While the film tends to talk over itself in its attempt to say all it needs to say on the subject, his film's uncompromisingly bleak vision is a bracing alternative."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A Holocaust movie with quite an original twist--about a tollbooth collector who imagines himself to be a survivor of Nazi horrors."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
More reviews for The Memory Thief on Rotten Tomatoes