Joshua Rich
June 06, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
91 minutes
director
Errol Morris
genre
Drama, Historical, Documentary

We gave it an A

Leuchter, a Massachusetts engineer who in his thick accent speaks proudly of his 40-cup-a-day coffee habit — and his expertise in designing execution equipment — spends much of Errol Morris’ documentary masterpiece Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. looking directly into the camera. On home video, he becomes just another guy sitting in our living room; a fella who, it turns out, happens to be a champion of the Holocaust revisionist movement.

Watching Leuchter fall deeper into the trap of his own misguided logic, while traveling to Poland and literally chiseling away at the walls of an Auschwitz death house, we want to reach through the TV and shake some sense into this hubristic schmo, lest he come off as any more pathetic and, though he doesn’t realize it, evil.

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