In this notorious Nazi propaganda historical costume melodrama, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Süß Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by ... See full summary »
This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting.
Josef von Báky
Der Sieg des Glaubens (English: The Victory of Faith, Victory of Faith, or Victory of the Faith) (1933) is the first propaganda film directed by Leni Riefenstahl. Her film recounts the ... See full summary »
During Napoleon's victorious campaign in Germany, the city of Kolberg gets isolated from the retreating Prussian forces. The population of Kolberg refuses to capitulate and organizes the ... See full summary »
This Nazi propaganda film tells the story of a young truck driver who is having trouble making ends meet until he is exposed to the teachings of Adolf Hitler, and he joins the S.A., aka ... See full summary »
This Nazi propaganda film purports to show the story of a Nazi Storm Trooper named Horst Wessel--here called "Hans Westmar"--who took part in street brawls and assassinations in Berlin in ... See full summary »
The Jews of Poland (invaded by Germany in 1939) are depicted as filthy, evil, corrupt, and intent on world domination. Street scenes are shown prejudicially, along with clips from Jewish ... See full summary »
This is the only film known to be made by the Nazis inside an operating concentration camp. Germany's Ministry of Propaganda produced this 1944 film about Theresienstadt, the "model" ghetto... See full summary »
Mystifying, but enlightening political history (and pants)
I've just seen the film in a special showing at Tate Modern (London's modern-art gallery). The print was evidently made for educational purposes, in the 1950s one guesses, with explanatory intertitles written by a film academic in English. (These are actually quite amusing with their po-faced analysis, with some very silly diagrams, but do interrupt the action clumsily. However, the print has no English subtitles, so the crackly soundtrack with thick Berlin accents is tough to follow for non-German natives.) What struck this viewer was, briefly:
1. Utter bewilderment at its propaganda value; the Communists seem to modern eyes to have far the best deal, with beer, food and sex high on their agenda, yet the young Heini - and presumably the 12-year-olds in the audience - are won over totally by the promise of shiny shoes, cups of tea, boy scout uniforms, cold morning dips and strident community singing. Beats me. 2. No comedy or light relief in any way: no town drunk, sly spiv, amusing slapstick with planks, etc. Was 1930s Berlin really that humourless? 3. What a rabble the Nazi youth seemed - gawky and indisciplined, far from the ruthlessly efficient robots of our imagination. 4. The only two decent actors in the whole thing are the two Commie blokes. Heini's dad turns in a convincing performance as the drunken old bully who personifies the Red Menace. 5. Getting short trousers to fit evidently beyond scope of even the well-organised Hitlerjugend. Every pair two sizes too small. 6. Chilling role played by gas. As a film "it's pants", as modern 12-year-olds might say (possibly echoing point 5). But as a grim piece of political history it is indeed quiet fascinating - and mystifying, as well as enlightening.
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