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Director Hans-Jurgen Syberberg examines the rise and fall of the Third Reich in this brooding seven-hour masterpiece, which incorporates puppetry, rear-screen projection, and a Wagnerian score into a singular epic vision. Syberberg, who grew up under Nazi tyranny, ruminates on good and evil and the rest of humanity's complicity in the horrors of the holocaust. Written by
Absolutely stunning film experience, but only recommended for hardened cinephiles
"Our Hitler: A Film From Germany" is one of the most stunning film experiences I've had, one that completely transcends the medium and its supposed limitations. If you've ever wondered how an entire nation could be duped by Hitler into his twisted philosophy, than watch this film. It paints a more accurate portrayal of the mindset than any other work possibly could. Also, the structure and style is very innovative, completely different from anything else I've seen. Director Hans-Jürgen Syberberg combines lengthy monologues from both real figures and fictional characters, rear screen projection of both film and stills, theatrical settings, and even puppetry. This all seems rather absurd, but it works well to create a colorful and surreal nightmare.
The acting could be criticized as being campy, and I'll admit its done in a very theatrical manner. I had no problem with this aspect for several reasons. First off, the film often resembles a filmed performance, so the play style acting fit it well. Additionally, when crafting a portrait of madness on such a wide scale, its only appropriate to get a little crazy yourself.
This all boils down to one question however - is it worth watching a nearly eight hour German art film about Hitler? The answer is yes, but only for some. If you are interested in learning how the German public viewed the man, than this is absolutely mandatory viewing. If you are a hardened cinephile who wants to see how far the limitations of standard narrative cinema can be stretched and deconstructed, than "Our Hitler" will be a memorable experience unlike any other. If the admittedly massive length seems a bit too much for one sitting, the film is broken into four parts, so it's alright to watch it in several intervals. (10/10)
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