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Downfall

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  • Downfall

    Well, I saw "Downfall" last night which basically follows the experiences of Hitler's secretary, Traudul Junge (sic), through the final days of the Third Reich from Hitler's last birthday to the final surrender.

    It's an extraordinary piece of cinema filled with exceptional performances - Bruno Ganz's portrayal of Hitler is stunning but all the other performances are equally as rivetting. Unlike much English-speaking cinema (particulary the Hollywood variety) you soon forget that you are watching actors on a set - the effect is incredibly immersive.

    The title of the film is indicative - there are many Downfalls taking place - societal, personal, military, emotional, moral (though it could be argued that the most significant moral downfall had already taken place prior to the commencement of the film's timeframe - this is the sharp end of the result of the moral downfall of the German people).

    Some criticism has been levelled at the portrayal of Hitler as human being, with some softness and benign aspects. Such criticism seems to miss the point that Hitler was a human being - mythologising him into some sort of monster or super villain serves but to diminish the evil that was wrought in his name by the society he created.

    I believe that films like this (and include Polanski's "The Pianist", Klimov's "Come and See" etc) send a clear and unambiguous message about the nature of War - more so than "soldier movies" (particularly the excreable "Thin Red Line").

    Moreover, this should be compulsory viewing for Americans - a country that seems overly eager to wage war in the rest of the world yet has no understanding of the implications, never having in living memory to deal with the whoesale destruction of it cities and the wholesale slaughter of its citizens.
    Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
    Bakunin

  • #2
    Yes, an immense performance by all concerned, especially Bruno Ganz's portrayal.

    We need more films of this ilk coming to the fore. When I went to see it, a couple of months ago now, the place was packed the rafters, so there is definitely an audience for movies of this nature.
    ‘In real life people do not spend every minute shooting each other, hanging themselves or making declarations of love. They don’t spend every minute saying clever things. Rather they eat, drink, flirt, talk nonsense."

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    • #3
      If you appreciated "Downfall" and Bruno Ganz, then try to see
      The Daughter of Bruno Ganz
      in the movie I recommended earlier:
      Sophie Scholl - The Final Days @ [broken link]
      Both films are the top harvest of the same season, so to speak.

      Just kidding, of course Julia Jentsch is not Ganz' daughter, but her acting is of the same calibre albeit being 35 years younger.
      Ganz is Swiss by the way, maybe he felt therefore less of a burdon than any German actor might have playing Hitler ...
      Last edited by Rothgo; 04-08-2010, 02:02 PM.
      Google ergo sum

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LEtranger
        If you appreciated "Downfall" and Bruno Ganz, then try to see
        The Daughter of Bruno Ganz
        in the movie I recommended earlier:
        Sophie Scholl - The Final Days @ [broken link]
        Both films are the top harvest of the same season, so to speak.

        Just kidding, of course Julia Jentsch is not Ganz' daughter, but her acting is of the same calibre albeit being 35 years younger.
        Ganz is Swiss by the way, maybe he felt therefore less of a burdon than any German actor might have playing Hitler ...
        I'll keep an eye out - I remember seeing Ganz years ago in "Wings of Desire" and was blown away then. I may have to go and check out his back catalogue!
        Last edited by Rothgo; 04-08-2010, 02:01 PM.
        Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
        Bakunin

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