Monday, June 20, 2016

980. Der Untergang

Der Untergang
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel

By now I have seen quite a few World War II films for the List.  It is quite rare to see a movie from a Nazi perspective, let alone Hitler's.  While most of the children in this film were fairly reprehensible, it was interesting to see a few glimpses of humanity and love from the one of the most evil political organizations in history.

Based on the diary of Traudl Junge, Hitler's secretary, Downfall tells the story of the last ten days of Hitler's life.  It was strange seeing this part of a war.  Usually we get to see significant battles and only read about the surrender in a few lines of onscreen text.

I was worried that this film would be so eager to portray Hitler as a human being that it would either overcompensate by dismissing the atrocities he committed or just come across as annoyingly preachy.  Thankfully, I was wrong.  I didn't feel emotionally blackmailed in the slightest; the scenes where Hitler was shown to be affectionate felt very natural.  We still got to see the insane, hate fueled Hitler, but we also saw that he was capable of love.  I knew I liked Bruno Ganz before this, but I am now convinced he is one of the greatest actors of our time.

I also liked that the movie primarily takes place in the bunker.  Bunkers are obviously claustrophobic places and the film was effective in making me feel a similar tension.  Highly recommended.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Many of Hitler's lines were historically accurate, although they were said at earlier dates.

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