Two nights ago I caught Vanessa Lapa‘s The Decent One, a fascinating arm’s-length portrait of infamous Nazi exterminator Heinrich Himmler, at the Film Forum. Pic blends archival footage of Himmler and the his era (1900 to ’45) with actors narrating Himmler’s (and his family’s) private letters and journals. Discovered and then kept by U.S. serviceman, the documents were hidden in Tel Aviv for decades and sold to Lapa’s father. The doc is a portrait of the chief architect of the Holocaust who — naturally, what else? — saw himself as a decent, dutiful, sometimes heroic fellow. And whose family kept themselves ignorant of his evil as much as possible, if not altogether. I think we all understand that evil always figures out a way to justify or at least live with itself. I was fully engaged and never bored, but I would have preferred to see a detailed doc about Himmler’s strategic maneuverings and political relationships throughout the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. The personal/family stuff merely affirms our capacity for self-delusion — what else is new? I stayed for Lapa’s q & a afterwards. Her film played Telluride a few weeks ago.