In the last moments of World War II, a young German soldier fighting for survival finds a Nazi captain's uniform. Impersonating an officer, the man quickly takes on the monstrous identity of the perpetrators he is trying to escape from.
The Captain follows Willi Herold (Max Hubacher), a German army deserter who stumbles across an abandoned Nazi captain's uniform during the last, desperate weeks of the Third Reich. Newly emboldened by the allure of a suit that he stole only to stay warm, Willi discovers that many Germans will follow the leader, whosoever that happens to be. A parade of fresh atrocities follow in the self-declared captain's wake, and serve as a profound reminder of the consequences of social conformity and untrammeled political power. Simultaneously a historical docudrama, a tar-black comedy, and a sociological treatise, The Captain presents fascism as a pathetic pyramid scheme, a system to be gamed by the most unscrupulous and hollow-souled.Written by
Music Box Films
It was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. See more »
Some German soldiers have a skull painted on their helmet. This specific type of skull decal was used by a Finnish army unit (1st battalion, infantry regiment 46) in the continuation war 1941-1944. A famous colorized photo of three Finnish soldiers in a trench wearing this sort helmet decal of is often incorrectly associated with Germans or the SS. See more »
The end credits show "Task Force Herold" marching through present day Germany and interrogating unsuspecting civilians. See more »
The film revolves around authority, the trust we tend to have towards a person we endow with authority, official ranks, hierarchy, "Kameradschaft", the sense of belonging to a group, and (for me at least), egoism in general. It is also quite brutal and sadistic. The story itself, with the most improbable twists, is taken from a real life story at the end of the war.
It is rare in war films to have the perspective of the criminal. We do not sympathise with him, but rather he impersonates the beast in every one of us.
Another merit of the film is quite natural: German actors can of course impersonate German soldiers better than for example US ones, it also gives a realistic touch to the film as opposed to US war movies featuring evil nazis.
The message of the film was for me clear and delivered with a great impression - I will not write it here as it would be flat in my words.
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