Thursday, August 04, 2005

movie notes: Downfall

I have to write a few words before my St. Louis trip about a movie I watched last night. Downfall is a German film about the final days of the Third Reich. In 2002 there was a documentary that was basically an interview with Hitler's stenographer, Traudl Junge. This movie takes the content of her revelations about Hitler's final days and dramatizes them. The result is riveting and revealing. The final days in Hitler's bunker are full of desperation, absurdity and insanity...and, of course, suicide. The actor that portrays Hitler (Bruno Ganz) is incredible; along with Hitler's cruelty and insanity, he also manages to portray his humanity...but that is not enough to evoke any sympathy. It is a complex role to say the least. That Hitler's stenographer was there to witness it all and survived to tell her story is amazing. Check it out. It is in German with English subtitles.