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9 user 8 critic

Undergångens arkitektur (1989)

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 »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rolf Arsenius ...
Narrator (original version) (voice)
...
Narrator (German, subtitled English versions) (voice)
Sam Gray ...
Narrator (dubbed English version)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martin Bormann ...
Himself (archive footage)
Karl Brandt ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Dr. Karl Brandt)
Arno Breker ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hermann Giesler ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Goebbels ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Heinrich Himmler ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Wilhelm Keitel ...
Himself (archive footage)
Viktor Lutze ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Narrator (French version) (voice)
Alfred Rosenberg ...
Himself (archive footage)
Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

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

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Skönhetskult och barbari i Tredje Riket


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13 October 1989 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Architecture of Doom  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Features Der ewige Jude (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Rienzi (excerpt)
Music by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
A Refreshing and Eye-Opening Thesis about the Nazis
5 May 2000 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

It's hard to examine the Nazi movement without seeming sensationalistic and lurid. "Architecture of Doom" achieves the difficult task of illustrating its thesis without sensationalizing it.

I have seen and read many histories of the Nazi period, and because of the aesthetic impact implicit in Nazism, the overarching impression I had wasn't the monstrous brutality and inhumanity, but the the uniforms, the rallies, the Wagner. After this film, I was left with a new way of looking and thinking about the Nazis.

That the narration is not to some tastes is, to me, a quibble. Actually, I like Sam Gray's narration. The phrasing is novel and very effective. In fact, the "inflectionless" style lends a kind of boldface to the words.

This is powerful stuff. There are debatable points, but the general thesis - that Nazism is murder in pursuit of an aesthetic - is mighty compelling.


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