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This meticuously assembled fim dissects the Third Reich with a keen analytical blade, charting Hitler's improbable rise, his mastery of imagery and crowd psychology, and his consummate skill in exploiting the weakness in others.
Most of what we know about World War II comes from monochromatic images and pictures. But this documentary brings something different: it's a fascinating collage of colored images from that period, filmed in 8mm and 16mm. All the footage was gathered from private collectors, soldiers, tourists, state institutions, even footage shot by Hitler's private pilot and there's also images captured by Eva Braun, Hitler's companion. Most of the images were recently discovered, some of them hidden for more than 40 years and they were all remastered and put together by director Michael Kloft. Written by
The quality of the footage is superb, and the effect stops one cold because you sometimes think this could be happening right now. The vividness of the imagery makes you could step into the picture. That makes the individuals shown - including average Germans, gypsy children, Jews in the concentration camps, blood spattered corpses, and Hitler himself - seem disturbingly real. This narrowing of time between then and now brings the viewer back to the central mystery as revealed by Nazi Germany, which seems to deepen the more one learns about it: What combination of characteristics in human beings could allow this insanity to have happened?
This is a simple film, and the narration is suitably understated as we witness a panorama of life and death in Nazi Germany, but the effect of the two hours of high quality footage makes one think long and soberly about what we human beings are capable of.
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