Baron Manfred von Richthofen is the most feared and celebrated pilot of the German air force in World War I. To him and his companions, air combats are events of sporty nature, technical ... See full summary »
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Katarzyna Al Abbas,
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Baron Manfred von Richthofen is the most feared and celebrated pilot of the German air force in World War I. To him and his companions, air combats are events of sporty nature, technical challenge and honorable acting, ignoring the terrible extent of war. But after falling in love with the nurse Käte, Manfred realizes he is only used for propaganda means. Caught between his disgust for the war, and the responsibility for his fighter wing, von Richthofen sets out to fly again. Written by
The British made S.E.5 flown by Lanoe Hawker was not active in 1916 as depicted. It only became operational in March 1917. See more »
Manfred von Richthofen:
And whatever side we fought, we all knew the risks we took. I wanted to be the best, I wanted to win and I thought I won. But I can see now, Kate. I see we've turned our world into a damn slaughterhouse. And I'm already too big a part of it. They're using my photograph to give hope where there is none. They use my name to feign immortality, whereas the reality is annihilation.
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The movie seems a bit slow at first. One wonders if it's going to be a realistic crude harsh war movie, as we have grown accustomed to in the last years, or a romantic poetic depiction of this folk hero/legend.
As one gets into the film, one discovers it's both things. There are several sub themes. The jealousy and competitiveness between brothers, the strong contrasting point of views from how the German pilots lived and saw the war as compared to their infantry mud submerged counterparts, the beauty of the initial sportsmanship displayed by Richthoffen and many other airmen in their practice of war, the love story, and many more.
Perhaps the most appealing to some of us is the gradual turn of things towards the impending tragedy, how the characters seem to express it just in the way they look at each other and how this epic sized hero, well represented by the unknown actor Tomas Koutnik, embraces his fate with a powerlessness and dignity that reflects the whole of humanity's ultimate choices when faced with the certain end: play out the role you've been assigned in this life with dignity.
Congratulations to this director, his craftsmanship, the actors, the staff, and let me not forget specially that wonderful Lena Heady who is very sensual and sublime!
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