From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and ... See full summary »
Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio's Oscar-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war's historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, ... See full summary »
Emile de Antonio
Harry S. Ashmore,
Vienna in the beginning of the twentieth century. Cavalry Lieutenant Fritz Lobheimer is about to end his affair with Baroness Eggerdorff when he meets the young Christine, the daughter of ... See full summary »
It is the dawn of Senegal's independence from France, but as the citizens celebrate in the streets we soon become aware that only the faces have changed. White money still controls the ... See full summary »
This full-length documentary deals with the life, career and trial of Nazi SS officer Klaus Barbie, known as the Butcher of Lyons. Virtually all aspects of his life are covered. His childhood and schooling in Germany; his early military career; his role in the head of intelligence in Lyons; his post-war employment by the US military; his life in Bolivia; his return to Europe; his trial and conviction. Interviewed are friends, enemies, associates, heroes and traitors. Written by
I saw "Hôtel Terminus" as part of a cycle of films dealing with Second World War, its protagonists and its effects. This was the last in the series in chronological order, but the first I saw: it was the only one dealing with modern consequences of that war. The film is what some people call a "talking heads", referring to documentaries made primarily of interviews. I did not know the term and heard it for the first time in the late 1980's in the Havana Film School. Students used it in a derogatory way. But as we all know, some talking heads are good. This one is, and a very good one. I am supposing that most everybody knows that Klaus Barbie was a Nazi agent, a torturer, then an anti-Communist spy for the CIA, that he escaped from Europe with the help of the Catholic Church and that he finally dealt with gun traffic in South America. He was caught, sent to France and judged in Lyon. In four hours and a half, Marcel Ophüls (who is not a very nice subject on camera), not only reconstructs Barbie's life, but he covers so much ground that it's noteworthy how his editors were able to maintain one's attention in so many persons, facts, dates and abundant references in the testimonies. I have been told that the film worked as an alert for the resurgence of neo-Nazis and the so-called "ordinary fascism". Well, it should be seen every now and then, because it seems that as long as there are human beings there will be totalitarians, traitors and assassins, and as long as there is a group of nations that want to control the world, there will be new holocausts. We all know that because of all the Klaus Barbies we have seen in power. This one won the Oscar as Best Documentary.
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