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 ...
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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
Not Your Average Entertainment, Not Your Usual Narrative
Can someone admire what a film is attempting to do and still not like the film? Although this highly experimental epic is a complex, multi-layered look at madness as expressed by a people hypnotized by a leader they created--most of the folk to whom it's directed would either find it loathsome or more likely, merely be clueless as to it's purpose.
One's enjoyment of such an intellectual puzzle experimentally staged depends on a tolerance for the extreme in theatre and the bizarre in presentation. I must admit after a few hours (in a seven-hour film) I'd had enough of the attitude and shouting and slightly Sophomoric posing--well, for all kinds of reasons, and was in the mood for something more linear. This is not a bad film by any means--it's challenging, sincerely made, and an admirable attempt to get inside a national psyche--but it does go on. And certainly wasn't something I was willing to spend five more hours of my life looking at. I had a difficult time number "grading" this film, as (1) I haven't seen it all, and (2) it's so unconventional. So I come up with "5." '
A viewer interested in the Hitler psyche can probably find more in the mesmerizing fairly recent Downfall--it's a stunning, cogent and frightening film with Bruno Ganz in the most convincing portrayal of Germany's madman I've seen in film. It's a "10."
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