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Liyan and Yuwen live in post-war torpor, childless but with Liyan's school-aged sister. He coughs, imagining he has TB; Yuwan embroiders; they sleep in separate rooms. A surprise visit from... See full summary »
Traudl Junge was Adolf Hitler's private secretary, from Autumn 1942 until the collapse of the Nazi regime. She worked for him at the Wolfsschanze in Obersalzberg, on his private train and, finally, in his bunker in the besieged capital. It was Traudl Junge to whom Hitler dictated his final testament. In her first ever on-camera interview, 81-year-old Junge talks about her unique life. In the spring of 2001, Andre Heller succeeded in convincing Traudl Junge how valuable it is to record her unique memories. Fifty-six years after the end of the Second World War, an important eyewitness reveals her experiences to us. What she saw and heard turned her into an furious opponent of National Socialism; an opponent, moreover, who is still painfully aware and seems incapable of forgiving the young girl she once was--for her naivete, ignorance, and her liking for Hitler.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The official sites of this film claim that these interviews are Traudl Junge's first public appearance, that she "kept quiet for nearly 60 years". See more »
And I think it's also the case that if you value and respect someone you don't really want to destroy the image of that person... you don't want to know, in fact if disaster lies beyond the facade.
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Revealing and Captivating Despite Appalling Production Values
6 out of 10
A pure interview movie if ever there was one. There are no effects, no cutaways, photographs, or anything else resembling anything of cinematic value. The picture merely focuses on Traudl Junge talking and recounting her years as Hitler's secretary. It is shot on videotape an almost looks like someones home movie. The subject is captivating enough, but calling this an actual film is a real stretch. Even a TV interview have better visuals.
In some ways this is good and almost a novel idea because it avoids the distractions that come about when too many visual 'enhancements' are thrown in. It allows the viewer to totally focus in on what the subject is saying and allowing them to create their own mental pictures. However the framing, setting, and editing all look horribly amateurish. The editing is especially a problem. Black frames pop up to cut from one interview segment to another and it gets distracting even a bit disconcerting. It also hurts the flow of the picture although this seems to happen more at the beginning and by the end pretty much drops off.
Content wise the stories are interesting, but really don't offer any major revelations. Junge seems to be given free rein to talk about anything she likes in anyway that she wants with no direction. A more crossfire type interview may have allowed it to be better structured and more of a impact. At best her stories can be described as being revealing and even slightly amusing. If anything her portrait of Hitler is different from anyone elses. His comments towards her during her interview for the job is down right stunning and memorable. Her accounts of his actions and reactions to things during the last weeks of the war will really surprise some people. In fact some of it seems so weird that it is almost too hard to imagine.
Overall despite it's humble production values it still has some good elements. Those that are interested in history and psychology should find this the most interesting. Junge seems a very affable and unpretentious individual that displays some amazingly good insight. Her accounts of the final days of the war are the most vivid and captivating part of this picture. The only thing that is missing is a little more on Junge the person especially with her adjustments after the war ended.
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