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Mein Kampf (1960)

Den blodiga tiden (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary, Drama, War | 21 April 1961 (USA)
"Mein Kampf" presents the raising and fall of the Third Reich, showing mainly the destruction of Poland and the life Hitler, which is told since he was a mediocre student and frustrated ... See full summary »

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(French commentary),
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Cast

Credited cast:
Claude Stephenson ... Narrator (English version)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Louis Arbessier ... Récitant / Narrator (French version) (voice)
Heinrich Brüning ... Himself (reads statement) (archive footage)
Friedrich Ebert ... Himself (inspects Weimar troops, lies in state) (archive footage)
Alfred Frauenfeld ... Himself (meets Papen in Vienna) (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
Inge Hvid-Møller ... (Danish Narrator)
... Narrator (German version)
Jean-Claude Michel ... Récitant / Narrator (French version) (voice)
Franz Pfeffer von Salomon ... Himself (archive footage)
Walther Rathenau ... Himself (writes at his desk) (archive footage)
Henning Skaarup ... (Danish Narrator)
Marinus van der Lubbe ... Himself (on trial, in shackles) (archive footage)
Franz von Epp ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

"Mein Kampf" presents the raising and fall of the Third Reich, showing mainly the destruction of Poland and the life Hitler, which is told since he was a mediocre student and frustrated aspirant of artist living in slums in Austria and Germany, until his suicide in 1945 after being the responsible for the death of million of people, and the destruction of Europe. All the footage is real and belonged to a secret file of Goebbels, inclusive with many very strong scenes filmed by Goebbels himself. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most appalling events in all the annals of all mankind! Every foot of film authentic! Most of it taken from secret Nazi archives! The monstrous deeds of Hitler, Eichmann and Co. Scenes never before screened! See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

21 April 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mein Kampf  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Swedish censorship visa # 95760 delivered on 4-4-1960. See more »

Connections

Featured in Joschka und Herr Fischer (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosh Chodesh
Written by Marcel Lorand
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User Reviews

 
The Coles Notes Account of WWII
20 December 2011 | by See all my reviews

While competently put together, this film is woefully short on details. It is possible that by 1960, the year this film was made, there simply wasn't the wealth of information available about this point in history that there was in later years, but this is unlikely. Of what they do show, the viewer is left with the distinct sense that so much more is there for the telling. The invasion of France is given barely a sentence. The focus mainly stays on Hitler's rise to power and then shifts mainly to the occupation of Poland. This, in and of itself, is not problematic, but perhaps the film should have been just about that one particular aspect of the war. By trying to cover everything, so much is missed that a disservice is done to the audience. Additionally, the opening crawl which sets out the editorial bent of the feature does not age particularly well. We don't need to be told Hitler was a monster, nor that he was one of us, a human being. This kind of theatricality seems to undermine the dark subject matter which is eventually revealed.

Still, this documentary accomplishes much. It still contains some of the most jarring and unforgettable war imagery of any documentary film ever made on this subject. In particular, the Nazi-shot footage of the Warsaw ghettos, the scenes of the concentration camps, the kangaroo court, down to the raving Nazi judge, which Germany used to justify the mass murder of Hitler's traitors, as well as some incredible footage of the razing of major cities which were pivotal turning points of the war: Warsaw, Berlin, and Stalingrad. The atmosphere during various Hitler speeches is also very well-captured and gives a sense of the gravitas with which he seemingly hypnotized an entire nation. For these scenes alone, the film is absolutely worth watching.

That being said, the almost tabloid approach to the content and heavily editorialized narration dampens the credibility of the picture almost from the word go. The definitive WWII documentaries are still, nearly forty years since their release, the "World at War" films, narrated by Laurence Olivier, which aired in Britain in 1973. In twenty-six separate parts, they have the time to truly investigate and attempt to make sense of humankind's worst and most violent protracted affair. Directed in far less a heavy-handed fashion than Mein Kampf, they set a gold standard which has still not been touched.

If you are NEW to WWII study, Mein Kampf is a perfectly adequate start. But it does not go nearly deep enough. Start here, and keep going.


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