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Giving Documentaries a Good Name
28 July 2007
I have just returned from this film and am another satisfied customer. It always feels a bit strange going to the cinema to see a documentary, but docs always turn out to be so much better and more fulfilling than the blockbusters. A real whirlwind of emotions, the Rape of Europa is something in which everyone living in the western world has a stake. The destructive force of war on human beings and those things which are crucial to our humanity, our art, is put into a perspective that is about as balanced as we can hope to get. Many positive things I would say have already been said, so I will offer one criticism: the city of Dresden, once called the "Florence on the Elbe," was not mentioned in the film. As perhaps the worst bombed city of the war, and a city which had no military value whatsoever but was of incalculable worth culturally, I felt this was a major omission. Of course, the film covered an amazing amount of ground, and the Dresden bombing remains a touchy subject for many, so I can comprehend the constraints of time and the need to avoid charged tangents. However, as someone who has lived in that city (many parts of which remained ruins until only recently), I still would have liked to have heard it mentioned. That said, the film was wonderful on a whole. If only everything they showed in the cinemas were half as good.
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