An absorbing and chilling documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic, and how attempts to create the Aryan Ideal caused the extermination of millions. Aspects covered include: ... See full summary »
An absorbing and chilling documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic, and how attempts to create the Aryan Ideal caused the extermination of millions. Aspects covered include: Hitler's epiphany while viewing Wagner's opera 'Rienzi', the rise of the homo-erotic Grecian/Nordic ideal, the parallels drawn between the 'degenerate' art of the cubists and dadaists and the mentally ill/physically deformed, the Nazi obsession with purity and cleanliness, and, finally, the descent of the Jewish people to the level of a virus/vermin. Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
While researching this film in Germany, 'Cohen, Peter' stumbled upon an obscure industrial documentary about various methods of vermin control for factory use. This short, entitled "Kleinkrieg" (or "Little War"), proved invaluable as it was the first to advocate the use of Zyklon-B as an effective means of mass extermination. See more »
Interesting look at the Nazi artistic ideal and how that may have lead to genocide, eugenics and the horrors of the Second World War.
This fast moving film postulates that the ideas that the Nazi hierarchy held about art influenced the drive to cleanse the race and make it pure. The Nazi's loved the classical ideal and hated anything that was impressionistic or modern and used it as proof of genetic impurity. The film recreates a lecture that toured Germany which showed how modern or degenerate art was based on deformed people. We see the images from the degenerate art and how they are compared to the mental and physically handicapped. This, the film argues, allowed the Nazis to then begin to sculpt the German people into the perfect physical being through murder (after all they are less then human).
Its an interesting idea but I don't think it was as big a deal as the film makes it out to be. Certainly there was the drive to create the perfect little Nazi, but I don't think it was as formalized as the movie says. I think the nice ideas of art and race were less intertwined as this film thinks. That said this movie is kick in the pants and in the head. The ideas it puts forward were probably at the very least operating on a subconscious level as a form of positive re-enforcement. Its all very plausible, which is scary.
Definitely worth seeing for anyone wanting to further color their understanding of Nazi ideas. You may not wholly agree with whats presented, but it will make you think, which isn't a bad thing.
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