6.8/10
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15 user 45 critic

My Best Enemy (2011)

Mein bester Feind (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, War | 11 January 2013 (USA)
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2:05 | Trailer

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A dark WWII comedy about two friends, stolen artwork and an unfortunate case of mistaken identities, as a Jewish man switches places with his Nazi best friend in order to survive

Writers:

Paul Hengge (screenplay), Wolfgang Murnberger (screenplay adaptation)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Moritz Bleibtreu ... Victor Kaufmann
Georg Friedrich ... Rudi Smekal
Ursula Strauss ... Lena
Marthe Keller ... Hannah Kaufmann
Udo Samel ... Jakob Kaufmann
Uwe Bohm Uwe Bohm ... Standartenführer Widriczek
Rainer Bock ... SS-Hauptsturmführer Rauter
Karl Fischer ... SS Obersturmbannführer Maier
Hans-Michael Rehberg ... Karel Brinek
Merab Ninidze ... Moritz Haiden
Mirko Roggenbock Mirko Roggenbock ... SS Untersturmführer Gruber
Christoph Luser Christoph Luser ... SS-Scharführer Weber
Klaus Manchen Klaus Manchen ... Staatssekretär Leipold
Claudio Caramaschi Claudio Caramaschi ... Adriano Bellotini
Hubert Mulzer Hubert Mulzer ... Brigadeführer Wildholz
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Storyline

A dark WWII comedy about two friends, stolen artwork and an unfortunate case of mistaken identities, as a Jewish man switches places with his Nazi best friend in order to survive

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

in medias res | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Austria | Luxembourg

Language:

German | Polish

Release Date:

11 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

My Best Enemy See more »

Filming Locations:

Lower Austria, Austria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In every scene where American flags appear, they are all 50-star US flags. The American flag did not have 50 stars until July 4, 1960, 15 years after the story ends (and five years after the Allied forces left Austria). See more »

Soundtracks

Mein Herz
(uncredited)
Written by Patty Moon
Performed by Patty Moon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully crafted but still formulaic propaganda.
5 August 2013 | by RichardvonLustSee all my reviews

There can be no doubt that this film is wonderfully scripted, brilliantly acted and very skillfully directed. It is pacey, exciting and at times even amusing. On those grounds it should definitely be given a fair viewing.

A Jewish art dealer in Vienna has inherited a Michealangelo masterpiece that was stolen from the Vatican 400 years before. Mussolini wants it back and the Nazi government needs to appease him for Italian military support. The plot revolves around the complex struggle by the Germans to seize the painting and the Jewish family to keep it.

Of course the plot is absurd. So many really great masterpieces had been seized across Europe by 1942 that a single piece would hardly attract so much effort. Besides which Italian military support was probably not worth it anyway and the attention given by the High Command to this issue is utterly ridiculous.

Interesting also is that the justification of the dealer and his family to keep this stolen treasure is never questioned. We are led to feel total sympathy for their efforts to keep it.

But there is something much more sinister behind this production. As a elderly German who personally knew so many of the character types involved in the drama I was left deeply saddened that 70 years on we are still portraying all Germans as nasty maniacs and all Jews as beyond reproach. Not a single German in this film has any positive characteristics at all. They are all without exception portrayed as being either brutal, heartless, self seeking, incompetent or simply stupid. In fact many of them are given all of these faults. And to balance this not a single Jewish character is given any negative characteristics at all. They are all without exception portrayed as being honorable, clever, caring, compassionate and socially concerned. Indeed most of them are given all these attributes.

I realize that many readers who accept the factual absurdity of this approach will feel it either acceptable artistic license (on the grounds that Nazism was so bad that even lies are justified) or that it's just a bit of fun and it doesn't really matter.

Of course were this to be an isolated example of such distortion I wouldn't waste my time writing this review. But it isn't. This particular handling of the Nazi-Jewish conflict is sadly copied in literally dozens of major productions made each year to perpetuate sympathy towards the Jews and hatred of the Germans. Accordingly whole generations have grown up who seriously believe that ALL wartime Germans were bad and all supported Nazism. But this was simply not true. Hitler was never elected with overall majority support and effectively staged a clever Coup d'Etat to seize power over a nation that wasn't even his.

If only such dramas were balanced enough to show this.


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