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The Laughing Man (1966)
"Der lachende Mann - Bekenntnisse eines Mörders" (original title)

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Documentary | War

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18 March 1966 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Kongo Mueller: wyznania mordercy  »

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for liberté, fraternité and all that, you know these sayings...
17 March 2006 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

In this fascinating interview, east German film makers Heynowski and Scheumann try to reveal the true face of western imperialism in Africa, and the result is a propagandistic tour de force: Siegfried Mueller, ex-officer of the Wehrmacht, in the uniform of the Kongolese Army and adorned with the Cross of Iron awarded in 1945, talks about his involvement as a mercenary in Kongo's civil war in the 1960s. In the course of the film the bottle of Pernod is emptied, and the Major gets more revealing; practically denying his earlier statements about civil killings, the ethics of war and the defense of western libertarian values. Masterfully caricatured with pictures of him and comrades proudly posing with severed skulls, other Nazi officers now active in Afrika and incidental mentioning of American exertion of influence. The tag line reads "Confessions of a Murderer", and the directors skillfully talk the increasingly drunk Kongo-Mueller into his role and into the the wanted statements. I was deeply impressed by this movie, which gives unique insight into a neglected chapter of the cold war and its zeitgeist, and also its sheer suggestive power, which creates a ghastly image of this smiling murderer. This film was banned in West Germany for many years. Highly recommended, even though extremely hard to find.


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