The rise of national socialism in Germany should not be regarded as a conspiracy of madmen. Millions of "good" people found themselves in a society spiralling into terrible chaos. A film about then, which illuminates the terrors of now.
Young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.
John Halder is a 'good' and decent individual with family problems: a neurotic wife, two demanding children and a mother suffering from senile dementia. A literary professor, Halder explores his personal circumstances in a novel advocating compassionate euthanasia. When the book is unexpectedly enlisted by powerful political figures in support of government propaganda, Halder finds his career rising in an optimistic current of nationalism and prosperity. Seemingly inconsequential decisions lead to choices, which lead to more choices... with eventually devastating effect. Written by
The music played at the end by the Jewish prisoners is Gustav Mahler's first symphony, third movement. This movement uses as one of its themes a parody of the popular children song "Frère Jacques", and the whole symphony borrows heavily from one of Mahler's song cycles, Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen. The last song, "Die zwei blauen Augen" (The two blue eyes) can be heard sometimes during the movie, as in the end of the movie shoot and as part of the symphony's movement being played. See more »
In the scene, when Halder takes a walk with his ex-wife in the cemetery, which is supposed to be in Berlin, Germany, Hungarian names are clearly visible on the gravestones. See more »
First they came for the Gypsies, and I wasn't a Gypsy, so I said nothing...
An easily Seduced Academic is separated from His Wife and His Conscience by a Flirtatious Blonde Student and a Allure of an Easy Life from the Nazis. A Weak Intellectual Type is probably an Easy Mark for both. The "Good" Man who does nothing while Evil is all around Him is the Heart and Soul of the Film, Subtly and Methodically showing how it can readily happen.
The Movie is so easily paced that it lacks a few Hard and Disturbing Scenes to jar the Viewer into some sort of Urgency. Nothing here seems at all Desperate until it is too late and that's the Thesis. But in Cinematic Terms it all just sort of happens and the Impact of the Implications and the Fingerpointing gets smothered in a Lethargic Pace and the Exclamation Points become Periods.
Not a Bad Movie, it is quite Good. However, the Profound Warnings it attempts to Reflect with its Historical Mirror are never given enough Hutzpah to be anything more than a Muse. A Sincere and Important Muse to be sure, but it fails to use its Fiction and its Medium to bring Home its Message. Apathy is nothing but Self-Preservation at the Expense of Everything Else.
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