Thursday, January 12, 2012

100 Films You Must See #90

#90
DER UNTERGANG (DOWNFALL)
Oliver Hirschbiegel
2004

I'm still not sure if most Germans new what was happening under their noses. I wonder even if they knew, what could be done? One things for certain, this type of thing could happen again, people are so easily swayed, that's why Downfall is an important film.

I have recently viewed Judgement At Nuremberg 1961 (which should but will not be included in this list as it was viewed after the close of 2011) a film that delves into the trials shortly after the holocaust. The film had German judges up on trial, we the audience can swing either way as these men made and passed law to keep that abominable man in power and allowing him to do what he did. I bring up this film because I believe Downfall's themes are very similar, that is, do these people know what they are really doing and will anyone who can forsee the severity of their actions make a change?

Simply put, Downfall is a must see film. It's truly up to you what you take from the film. We take perspective from Traudi Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara) whom is hired by Adolf Hitler (Bruno Ganz) as his secretary, you can only imagine the atrocities she would become aware of. Downfall is actually that, the fall of a dictator all set within a claustrophobic German bunker as the allies drew closer and closer to capturing the man. "I do not want to live in a world without National Socialism" one associate would say as suicide became an ever apparent alternative to having been captured, but are these the words of an idealist or a coward? It's for you to decide.

If we ever chat about men that make films, then Bruno Ganz is at the very top. Never over the top or nonchalant, Ganz's adaptation of Adolf Hitler is flawless. Yes, I almost felt for this awful awful lack of a human.

I believe what Downfall does above all, is it reinstates the confusion and uncertainty of that time. It raises the same questions and some 70 years later gives no certain answers. Downfall is an account of a horrific time, that needs to be seen. Oliver Hirschbiegel understands that we the audience don't need anyone to tell us we need a trial or a lynching or a long dictatorial speech, what we do need are the facts and we will come to our own independent conclusions, something Nazi Germany individually could not determine for themselves.





100 Films You Must See
#90 Der Untergang (Downfall)


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