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Human Remains (1998)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 308 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 5 critic

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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Title: Human Remains (1998)

Human Remains (1998) on IMDb 7.6/10

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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)
...
Himself (archive footage)
V.I. Lenin ...
Himself (archive footage)
Zedong Mao ...
Himself (archive footage)
Benito Mussolini ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Stalin ...
Himself (archive footage)
Leon Trotsky ...
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)  »

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Human Remains  »

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User Reviews

 
Lives of the Monsters
24 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This brief documentary on the offstage idiosyncrasies of four (Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Franco) certifiable 20th century monsters and an inept wanna be (Mussollini) has some fascinating and lurid detail but it's back from the dead voice over narration more than once calls into question the veracity of the statements within the film and you get the feeling the maker does a little out of context word twisting to meet his needs. The deception certainly extends to the archival footage which is blatantly manipulated to emphasize irony, shock and dark humor regarding the subjects and some of this domestic clay feet exposure borders on TMI.

It turns out that reduced to their "human" size we are given a cross section of stereotypical pettiness, inept parenthood, bad hygiene, fierce tempers and a complete inability to relate to women ( perhaps here again we can exclude Il Duce) in statements that beg follow-up questions.

Human Remains piecemeal revelations may offer some incite but Rosenblatt's casual off the cuff style tends to have a grain of salt quality to it. But, like a car wreck, it's tough not to look at.


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