Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Exit Stage Reich

Being German and Russian-Jewish makes watching films about the Nazi era somewhat difficult. For some reason I still find myself interested, I suppose there is a lesson in the tragedy, one we should never forget, for fear that it be repeated again.

I wish I would have seen this one in the theatre, since this level of excellence is the reason why we are willing to fork out $10 to go to the movies.



Der Untergang (Downfall)


Seeded by the diaries of Hilter's personal secretary, Traudl Junge and sculpted by brilliant German direction, production and acting, Downfall chronicles the last day of Hitler's life on Earth, the inevitable fall of the 3rd Reich and the end of World War II.

The film assumes you know what horrendous events occured before the end of WW2 so it drops you smack in the middle of Berlin as the Russian Army begins to take it down. You will feel as though you are there, the filming style and staging are that realistic.

Bruno Ganz deserves the German equivalent to an Oscar for his phenomenal portrayal of Hitler. The mannerisms - watch Ganz closely to see how amazingly accurate he is at the notoriously quirky mannerisms of the failed Führer. Also notice the magnificent, outrageous shifts in personality as he lies trapped like a dog in a bunker beneath a crumbling city. In a short span Ganz swings effortlessly from cheerful optimism to venomous, maniacal rage.

Equally outstanding was Juliane Köhler as Eva, Hilter's wife. The contrast between reality and Eva's actions are almost unresolvable. She smiles, laughs and dances Swing on a dinner table while Russian bombs continue to knock out parts of her home. She takes breaks between bombings to walk their dog, Blondi, smoke a cigarette and make small talk with the girls. In some ways she is more delusional than Hitler himself. You almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

Opening and closing comments by the real-life Traudl Junge were well-selected polish on a masterpiece.

10/10

6 Comments:

Blogger NeiLDC said...

That was a great film, also the Pianist and the Schindlers list was great movie. We all have the history and its part of it. Looking back beyond our history is a good sense for me because you can learn from it so that it wouldnt occur in the future!

1:48 PM

 
Blogger john said...

Hey Jim, I just wanted to say "Hi", I havent seen the film...

10:33 PM

 
Blogger El Güero said...

Sounds fascinating. I remember reading a review about this film and the reaction of Germans to it.

2:13 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Thats true Neil, we can hope this never, ever happens again!

7:45 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Hi John! :)

7:49 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Michael, I was surprised the Germans made this one, considering. Its the most realistic, objective look at the era that I've seen.

7:57 AM

 

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