Even those familiar with the Jedwabne massacre of 1941 (a secrecy-shrouded slaughter of Polish Jews whose killers were eventually outed as locals rather than Nazi occupants) are likely to be riveted by Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s loose yet fearless retelling, banned in parts of its native country. When Franek (Ireneusz Czop) returns to Poland after decades living in Chicago, he discovers that his brother (Maciej Stuhr) has become a terrorized pariah thanks to his mysterious mission of digging up Jewish headstones. It’s mildly irksome that it takes a Yankee convert to finally unearth “justice for all,” and Jan Duszynski’s emphatic score too often evokes slasher-movie melodrama. But with its slow-burn pacing and horrifying reveals, Aftermath remains a deeply compelling puzzle.
Follow R. Kurt Osenlund on Twitter: @AddisonDeTwitt