8.2/10
346
11 user 5 critic

Human Remains (1998)

Film clips of the 20th century's great dictators with narration in first person combine to form a fascinating portrait of power and evil.

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9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eva Braun ...
Herself (archive footage)
Francisco Franco ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
Zedong Mao ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
Paul von Hindenburg ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

We see a gravedigger's shovel at work. Then, we watch archival footage that, for the most part, is up close and personal scenes of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco, and Mao. In the background, a voice in German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese speaks in the first person, narrating an autobiography; another voice gives a simultaneous translation in English. Often we see them with children or young women. They are braggarts. The editing is droll; the words and images combine to satiric effect. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Release Date:

January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anthropina apomeinaria  »

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User Reviews

 
A powerful look at the banality behind evil
2 April 2003 | by (NY) – See all my reviews

This short psuedodocumentary is worth the search. It takes 5 of the major dictators of the 20th century (Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco, Mao) and shows us glimpses of their daily personal lives. It captures the averageness in the lives of dictators, but is never boring. With a first-person narration, the subjects take on a familiar feel, which becomes even creepier when you realize how their everyday habits, gripes, and superstitions could lead to genocide.

A first-rate effort, from the research to the footage to the narration.


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