Jake Paltrow Shares How Late Father Bruce Paltrow Influenced His New Film “June Zero” (Exclusive)

Jake Paltrow and Gwyneth Paltrow's father Bruce Paltrow died in 2002 at 58

<p>Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Bruce Paltrow and Jake Paltrow on Dec. 11, 1991

Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Bruce Paltrow and Jake Paltrow on Dec. 11, 1991

Jake Paltrow's latest movie is partially inspired by his father's interest in World War II and Jewish history.

The director, who is the younger brother of Gwyneth Paltrow and son of late producer Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner, recently debuted his new historical drama June Zero.

He says the film, which revolves around the longterm effects of the Holocaust, stems from a shared interest in the topic with his father.

"I think he felt blessed to have been born in the U.S. and that only by that stroke of luck did he avoid another fate," Jake says in a statement. "He was an artist before he became a writer and he dedicated a lot of creative energy to works about his perception of the Holocaust."

June Zero revolves around the experiences of three people living in Israel directly after the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, an officer in Nazi Germany's regime during World War II whom the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum describes as "among the major organizers of the Holocaust."

Related: Gwyneth Paltrow's Brother Jake Depicts the Trial of a Nazi Officer in June Zero Trailer (Exclusive)

<p>Cohen Media Group</p> Jake Paltrow

Cohen Media Group

Jake Paltrow

Jake tells PEOPLE that World War II history, Jewish history and the Holocaust "was a preoccupation when [Bruce] was a young man." Bruce died in 2002 at 58 after a years-long battle with throat cancer.

"I think he wanted to ensure I understood what happened to the Jews of Europe so he showed me Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and we would watch the BBC documentary series The World at War every year," he recalls.

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June Zero premieres in theaters more than a year after it first screened at film festivals, and Jake says he made the film "at the height of the pandemic."

"Being away from my wife and children for so long was hard, and because of all the traveling for the making of the film I think in a 10-month period I racked up 11 weeks total in quarantine," he adds, noting that many of the locations he filmed at in Ukraine and Israel have seen "pain and destruction befall the people and places where we made this movie" since the film wrapped.

Related: Gwyneth Paltrow Remembers Dad Bruce Paltrow, Nearly 21 Years After His Death: 'I Miss His Humor'

<p>Courtesy of Cohen Media Group</p> June Zero poster

Courtesy of Cohen Media Group

June Zero poster

Prior to June Zero, Jake last directed a film with 2015's De Palma, a documentary he codirected with Noah Baumbach about the life of director Brian De Palma. As a filmmaker, Jake is also known for 2014's Young Ones and 2007's The Good Night.

"There is a liberating and bittersweet moment where the movie no longer belongs to the team that made it," he says of his new movie's release. "I’m someone who gets sad to say goodbye in general, but when it comes to sending off a movie to the audiences, I love it."

June Zero is in theaters now.

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