|Index||4 reviews in total|
Although I've already seen some of this footage on the Military
Channel, this is a very incisive look at the events that led to the
rise of Adolph Hitler, which the documentary traces back to Germany's
humiliating defeat in 1918 at the end of WWI. Germany needed a hero,
someone to inspire them with his talk of rallying everyone to become a
good German and do their individual best to achieve a strong sense of
being a proud German.
He does soon impress everyone with his oratorical skills and his popularity keeps building steadily in the 1930s. An interesting point is made that if Hitler had only stopped raising the bar to include war in his plans, he might have gone down in German history as one of the great leaders by 1935. He did give the Germans more prosperity and created jobs. Unfortunately, he didn't stop there. By 1937 his plans extended to conquering Czechoslovakia and then Poland--and soon afterwards, Britain and France.
A good examination of the plots that developed to kill Hitler when it became apparent that he was a madman, are illustrated. Academics, aristocrats, scientists and intellectuals included many among their groups who came up with plans to kill him. But the most famous attempt by Von Stauffenberg, gets the most attention here, since this is really a tie-in to the VALKYRIE film of Bryan Singer.
It does an excellent job of giving a capsule review of the swiftly moving events surrounding the conspiracy and its effect on the various men involved when the plans went astray. I'd advise anyone intending to view VALKYRIE to see this documentary first and gain a better perspective on the events depicted in the film.
Very worthwhile and totally interesting with many comments from the Von Stauffenberg relatives, including members of the family and other people who were around Hitler.
This program is a shameless tie-in to the 2008 Tom Cruise movie "Valkyrie," but as shameless tie-ins go, it is pretty good. It retells much, much more than its title suggests and goes far beyond the story told in the Cruise movie. It begins with the rise of Hitler, then goes into the development of the German resistance to Hitler (it was fractious because the movement consisted of socialists, aristocrats and Christian pacifists who didn't agree how to proceed against Hitler let alone what kind of Germany they wanted to have post-Hitler), then describes how the resistance came to focus on a series of assassination plots and how Claus Von Stauffenberg came to be involved in the "July 20th Plot." But there's more! This two-hour program pretty much wraps up the rise and fall of Operation Valkyrie in one hour or so, but goes on to explore not only its immediate aftermath but also the changing regard of the German people for this event and the people involved in it. Stauffenberg's own son recalls that in the late 1940swell after the wara teacher said disapprovingly of him something like, "What can you expect from the son of a traitor." (The talking heads include not only historians and public figuresHenry Kissinger chimes in once with a cogent pointbut also family members of the conspirators.) But by the early 1950s, many Germans began to rehabilitate the July 20th plotters, and the place of Stauffenberg's execution became a permanent memorial. This documentary chronicles, down to the present, the German people's attempts to regain self-respect after the disaster of the Hitler era and the division and reunification of East and West Germany. It makes the case that the re-visioning of the July 20th plot has been an important tool that has helped Germans to remember that not all Germans joined in Hitler's orgy of inhumanity.
Instead of a "shameless tie-in which someone wrote, this documentary was actually better than the Tom Cruise film. The interviews with family members of the plot were outstanding. Good for history students. They said I didn't write enough about this. Okay, I'll repeat it. The attack of "shameless" was totally unfounded. This is an excellent documentary, which, by the way, I tend to prefer to adjusted Hollywood films. If you want a feel for what the families of those involved in the plot went through, and in many ways we could say are still going through, then this is the film to watch. In a relatively short time frame they give you the very essence of what the plot was all about. Not all Germans "went along."
Love the history behind this story and well written with accurate narration and primary source material. But still bothers me to see the old film footage from the 1930s and 1940s being cropped to fit into the program's 16x9 aspect ratio. I understand that the recent day interviews are recorded in HD 16x9 video but the cutaways to the B&W archival stock should keep their original 1:33:1 aspect ratio. Cropping old film footage only results in distortion and loss of great film quality. These 16mm and 35mm news reels were not cinemascope back then so why make them look like that today? Why not just colorize them altogether if the producers like to resort to quasi HD looking cropped image? I like HD wide aspect 1080p digital video don't get me wrong however also appreciate seeing the original film stock in its native 4x3 form if it was shot that way. Tired of seeing SD material trying to be passed off to look HD. It just don't work and looks bad and not respectful to the filmmaker who recorded the images many years ago with this documentary or any other for that matter.
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