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 »
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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
I saw this film in the 1970's in Madrid Filmoteca Nacional when i was a student. I have seen it again now, in August 2013. The film was then a novelty in its structure and ways of communicating things, I mean what in art theory is called the "form". But I think that after all these years, it is time to discuss the "content" of the film.
Indeed, the film is full of fuzzy situations, texts read while another voice talks in the background, and so on.
The film is divided into four parts, each 90-120'. The two first parts have several good ideas, as to display the sound of a real Hitler speech dealing about the greatness of Germany, while he is working painstakingly painting a wall. Another good idea is to show an actor acting as the servant of Hitler and telling his everyday life, or another one representing the private film projectionist of Hitler, who tells his preferences.
But the two last parts of the film are long monologues, lists of arguments in favor of the Nazis. When you have these arguments presented in short passages, and as deliberately cynical utterances, it is OK. But when the arguments go on during two or three hours, then it is too much, and one starts to be suspicious about the author. He reaches the top of what can be bearable for me when, near the end of the film, and shortly after having mentioned the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, a puppet representing Hitler asks: "What have you done with the World after me?". And one of the last sentences shown in the screen is "After the journey into the World, who is nearer to God than the guilty?". I am sorry, but what I passed over when I was young, is unbearable for me, and makes the author openly suspicious.
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