Monday, 4 April 2011

A-Z #65: Downfall

You can pick up hundreds of DVDs for a round-pound each - it doesn't matter. It's never about quantity, it's about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and understanding why I own the films ... or you can tell me why I should sell 'em

#65 - Downfall

Why did I buy it?

Because who doesn't want to see what happened in that bunker during those final hours. Hitler had pretty much lost the war and, somehow, he had to lead his army to the bitter end. I think the very idea of humanising such a monster equally intrigues me - think of how the terrorists are portrayed in Four Lions and, though two-dimensional to some extent, there are hints of a very human approach to terrorism in United 93.

Why do I still own it?

Because it still stands as a truly fascinating film. The filmmakers clearly tried to create a 'definitive' account of Hitler's final days. Bruno Ganz researched Hitler for months attempting to accurately portray Hitler's Austrian accent - to the point that Ian Kershaw for The Guardian wrote how his depiction was "chillingly authentic". The filmmakers used eye-witness accounts, survivors memoirs and other historical sources to accurately portray the bunker. All these facets came together to produce a film that is a fascinating historical tool. I think this film shows a true reflection of the horror of World War II - a powerful figure who, though human, was a corrupt human who had been created from a political construct rooted in racism, fear and power. But inevitably, as a human, he was defeated.

Have you seen Downfall? Do you agree?
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  1. This is a wonderful, profound film; but I struggle to watch it since all the parodies--- and every time I seen Ganz in a film I just think of Hitler!

  2. Those parodies ... all starting with an X-BOX joke. Geez. i'm sure it could've been a funnier subject matter.


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