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 »
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 resistance against the French army, which immediately submits the city to massive bombardments. Written by
Eduardo Casais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While how and why this film was made are sick and twisted, the film itself was brilliant.
During the waning years of WWII, it was obvious to just about everyone that ultimately the Germans would lose the war. However, the Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels insisted that a rousing German epic about war MUST be created in order to inspire their people in the defense of the nation. And so, while the country was being incinerated from the air and troops were being slaughtered by the 100s of 1000s on the Eastern Front, HUGE resources were rather inexplicably being diverted to the creation of "Kolberg". 10s of 1000s of soldiers were cast as extras and the great power of the sleeping German movie industry was mustered. And seeing that it was a full-color film with all this money being thrown into it, it's not surprising that this is a great film--though also one most would probably want to forget simply because of who made it and why it was created in the first place.
The film is set during the Napoleonic Wars--back around 1807. Town after Prussian town have surrendered to the oncoming French juggernaut. Yet, inexplicably, the town of Kolberg isn't ready to welcome the invaders. Despite a very weak commander of the Prussian army in the region, the Mayor isn't about to surrender and he's encouraging his people to fight to the death, as by slowing down the enemy, ultimate victory may result. But, he must contend with the wimpy commander and send a rather ordinary lady on a mission to have the King replace the commander and support the defense of the city. What follows are some exceptional battle scenes and the only ones which I have seen which are better are from the insanely large Russian version of "War and Peace" (a film you just have to see at least once in your life).
Overall, the film is very rousing and inspiring. It's obvious that the purpose of the film is to get the German people to be very willing to lay down their lives as well as convince them that this is not a sacrifice in vain (which is was). As a result, the film probably contributed to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people--when there was no possible way to stop the inevitable. Plus, unlike the Prussians during the time of Napoleon, they were NOT fighting for what was right. Sad...but amazingly effective...provided the local movie houses had not been blown up so the folks could see it in the first place! By the way, the scene where the peasant girl meets the queen was exceptionally well done--even brilliant. See this and you'll understand what I mean.
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