Said to pick up where "Triumph of the Will" left off, this film showcases highlights of the Nazi Party rallies in Nüremberg in 1936 and 1937. The main focus of the film begins with extended... See full summary »
Well, "Sieg im Westen" is not a movie for everyone. First it is old (screechy voices and spots )and it was filmed in black and white.
Secondly, it is a nazi propaganda movie, and those who even today cannot understand that a) Nazi Germany was evil and will not come back or b) Showing interest in Nazi Germany isn't bad, or doesn't make you a nazi, should probably not watch this movie.
I however, enjoyed this movie immensely, it is hard to get a good look at nazi-Germany in current Hollywood movies where Germans (if they even get to talk) are nothing more than cartoonlike figures who look real mean and evil. With "Sieg im Westen" you can see what the average German was shown about the war, and how history was explained to him.
The movie consists of 2 parts :
The first part is about how WW2 came to be. With a lot of "interpretated" history,the film pretends that Germany has always been the victim and needs to defend itself. This is done by very nice maps and commentary and views of landscapes like in "triumph of the will". One really can see how schoolchildren and not too bright people were indoctrinated by this revised history.
The second part shows us the campaigns over Belgium, Holland and France.
Again with a lot of maps and commentary but most and for all UNIQUE footage and nice editing of that footage a spectacular image is shown of how "the west was won". It is nice to see all those tanks rolling who now you can only see standing still in musea. Again, if you have any interest in the subject the unique images will be a delight. Of course one is often reminded by the xenophobic commentary/footage that this is a Nazi movie.
So purely as a movie it is nice to see (if you can get past the age of the tape and the old (sometimes boring) way of filming), as an historical document it really shines; giving us a look into various aspects of WW2 on the German side: revised history, how war was shown to the German public but also how German weaponry looked on the field of battle. And most important it makes you think, as dead English soldiers and burning French tanks are shown while Germans are smiling, you cannot but feel grateful that we live in an age where differances are solved around a table not with bombs.
It is a movie made in a period when everything was still going Hitler's way and democracy in Europe was almost whiped out. It reminds us of the power of propaganda, but also learns us that there are always two sides in a war, and the darker side also has it's story to tell. I truely believe that if this sort of film was sold commercially (i had to search the internet hard to finally find a copy at a company specialised in it) we would learn more about WW2 and the dangers of a totalitarian regime than all the "American Hero" warmovies that are being sold today. This movie fascinates me as a WW2 collector, as a free citizen, as a history freak and as fan of movies.
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