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 ... See full summary »
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
If it went on for another 7 1/2 hours, I would keep watching it...Truly extraordinary, a once in a lifetime event....a bonafide masterpiece....
Susan Sontag called this film "the most extraordinary film I've ever seen". This may seem like a hyperbolic statement, but after seeing this film, I see where Susan was coming from. This really is an extraordinary film, and I completely understand Sontag's adoration of it. This is a brilliant film, one that has had me thinking for days about it. I watched it over 2 nights, and there's so much in it and so much to take in that I'm planning on renting it again or perhaps purchasing it. Despite its 7 1/2 hour length, there isn't one dull moment in it. I only watched it over 2 nights because I had to go to sleep. If I had had the time to watch the whole thing in one sitting, I would have done so without thinking. I haven't felt this glued to the screen in I don't know how long.
The film is absolutely mesmerizing. This film has been unavailable for many, many years, and this is the first time it's been offered on home video. The director, Hans Jurgen Syberberg, had posted the film on his website, but watching it on a TV or projected is the best way to see it. The film is operatic, theatrical, mind bending, sad, haunting, angry, depressing, and just about everything else you can think of. The 4th part is a little boring (the first 30 minutes of part four is one long monologue), but after this monologue is concluded, the film takes off again to a stunning conclusion. Never does the film feel padded. Like in Wagner's great operas (Wagner figures prominently here), a film like this needs to be long to tell its story, and that should be respected. The actors throughout the film give excellent performances, and the film is one of the most thought provoking films that I've seen in recent memory. This is a filmic masterpiece.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?