ARE WE CIVILIZED? stands as a fairly obvious anti-Nazi propaganda piece, but it is surprising pertinent in its warnings about the dangers of people surrendering their civil rights in this post 9-11 world. Perhaps its greatest failing is that its message is somewhat diminished by the nature of the historical events and personages used to describe mankind's progress towards civilization. The film seems to want to have it both ways: while great leaders advance civilization, the persistence of the people while suffering under the rule of dangerous warlords advances civilization as well. Under this theory, the extraordinary suffering humanity will soon endure through the upcoming Second World War could almost be seen as a good thing.
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