Sunday, April 10, 2005

Der Untergang

Last night I finally saw "Der Untergang", and I can more then recommend this movie to everybody. For those not familiar with the movie, it's a German movie about the last few days of Hitler's reign and the collapse of Germany in the second world war. I however would not call it a war movie.

The movie was very controversial as Germans are very worried about portraying Hitler as a normal human-being. To them he needs to stay a total monster. The shame most Germans feel about the second world war, as I understand it, is quite big. Some worried this movie would turn Hitler into an idol. But it luckily does nothing like that.

Der Untergang mostly centres around various people in or around Hitlers bunker. While the people in the streets of Berlin suffer you get to see how Hitler impacted those around him and how the downfall of their empire affects them. This has been done in such a realistic way it impressed me beyond most other movies. Every action, every emotion seemed real. From those so caught up in Hitler's words and idea's that they commit suicide for him, even after he himself is dead, to those who try and save them selves. Most people however are generally clueless about how to act. As Hitler more and more loses hope and shows less and less sanity himself.

From the subtleties of soldiers and officers who know it's become useless, but continue to do their job because they don't know any better to the exceptionally powerful scene where Gubbels wife poisons her own children one by one. Most of the story centres around the secretary of Hitler. Who really is in most of this a bystander, totally overwhelmed by the situation she has gotten herself into.

I can simply recommend this movie to everybody. It is a great insight into how people mentally deal with and react to a situation to extreme to really comprehend. A unique insight into what happens the last few days as an empire is really falling, and being powerless to change that. Hollywood would learn something of the acting, storyboard, way of filming here. No Hollywood drama ever comes close to this.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363163/ (IMDB)
http://www.deruntergang-special.film.de/ (german)
http://www.a-film.nl/deruntergang/ (Dutch)

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