It is 1938, the annexation of Austria by the Germans. For Georges Jorisch, a 10-year old Austrian Jew, a long nightmare begins. He follows his father in exile, leaving behind his mother and grandmother, none of whom he will ever see again. Both women will die in the camps while the Nazis seize their entire family heritage, including the grandmother’s collection of paintings. After the war, now an orphan and without a country to call his own, Georges Jorisch emigrates to Canada, where he will raise four children in trying conditions. But then, in 1998, at the age of 70, he decides to trace two of the great master Gustav Klimt’s paintings that belonged to his grandmother. This decision marks the beginning of a fabulous quest which will last a dozen years and be faced with unsurmountable obstacles.
The Heir is the story of this man who waited his whole life to see justice done, a man who became an inspiration to Edith Jorisch, his granddaughter and the director of this documentary.