This follow-up to From Caligari to Hitler traces the rise and fall of Nazi Germany through the cinema of the Third Reich: an explosion of lavish, escapist films celebrating a... Read more
Directed by Rüdiger Suchsland
Writer Rüdiger Suchsland
NARRATED BY UDO KIER. Filmmaker Rüdiger Suchsland suggests that the Third Reich was essentially an immersive movie starring the German nation, produced and directed by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Hitler’s Hollywood collages key films from the more than 1000 features the Nazis produced from 1933-1945: musicals, melodramas, romances, costume dramas, war films – and when the real war got tough, insanely lavish, over-the-top fantasies. The German volk were portrayed as happy and sporty with lives of exaggerated cheerfulness or, conversely, full of morbid yearning for a death that would serve the Fatherland. Hannah Arendt gives perspective and context: “One of the chief characteristics of modern masses… (is) they do not trust their eyes and ears, but only their imaginations. What convinces masses are not facts, not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the illusion.” It’s a frightening insight that could just as easily apply to the American political landscape today. – Karen Cooper, Film Forum
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