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The Goebbels Experiment (2005)

Das Goebbels-Experiment (original title)
Through archival footage and dramatic readings of his personal writings, the life of Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels, is examined.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Narrator (voice)
Heinrich Brüning ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
Engelbert Dollfuss ... Himself (archive footage)
Wilhelm Frick ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage) (as Josef Goebbels)
Magda Goebbels ... Herself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
Rudolf Hess ... Himself (archive footage)
Heinrich Himmler ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
Alfred Hugenberg ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

The Nazi propaganda mastermind behind Hitler speaks in first person as actor Kenneth Branagh reads pages of the diary kept by the chief of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, revealing the man's most inner thoughts. Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945) was a symbol of Germany's Nazi regime and a twentieth-century icon of maniacal cruelty. His name has been synonymous with cynical, unscrupulous, and at times successful, propaganda. The life of Joseph Goebbels is far more complicated and disturbing than labels like "genius of spin" or "Reich Liar-General" would suggest. The chronicle shows how Goebbels continually "restaged" and reinvented himself -- from his early days as a radical "popular socialist" to his tragic end. The film lets Goebbels speak for himself through the diaries he kept without interruption from 1924 to 1945, as never before seen historical footage from German archives traces the life of the second most powerful man of the Third Reich, detailing his initial attraction to the Nazi ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

13 April 2005 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Goebbels Experiment  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,769, 14 August 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$47,211, 26 February 2006
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Quotes

Narrator: Hitler had phoned. He wanted to welcome us and in fifteen minutes he was there, tall, healthy and vigorous. I like him. He puts us to shame with his kindness.
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Connections

Features Kolberg (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting but uneven in what it depicts
11 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a very interesting and surprisingly engaging film. Branagh reads excerpts from Goebbels' diary or translations of speeches while the film shows newsreel footage, scenes from propaganda films, and bits from theatrical movies. Sometimes the visual footage illustrates Goebbels's words; sometimes it provides an ironic juxtaposition. I have one important reservation. There is no real attempt to include even coverage of events during the period. Quite a few subjects are simply not mentioned. For example, there is no discussion of the German's defeat at Stalingrad, which must have been a gigantic problem for Goebbels as Propaganda Minister. Even more striking, there is very little discussion of Nazi treatment of the Jews. The film includes some early anti-Semitic quotations and a little footage of Kristallnacht, but nothing that I can recall about the Holocaust itself. Perhaps Goebbels' diaries don't include entries about these subjects, but the omission is striking.


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