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    Reader comments on Downfall

    Subject: Der Untergang (Downfall)
    Date: Apr 15, 2005
    Sender: Priya BedePrevious | Next

    I saw the German film 'Der Untergang' in Sydney, Australia yesterday at the German film festival. Unfortunately the Director who was expected to be there couldn't make. Unlike normal movies, one had the luxury of a German, a history professor from the University of New South Wales, give great introduction. He said it was good for the Germans to see that Hitler was really dead.

    Since I had read the cover story in the German weekly 'Spiegel' even before the film was released in Germany, I knew exactly what to expect.

    I think it is a great movie. If one would have preferred to have the facts represented there to be different, then one has to come to terms with the disappointment. It is a historical movie - not a Hollywood version of how history should or could have been. The German director had taken great pains to make it as exact as possible. Everything was as it was.

    As for the looks of Hitler: From the real pictures of Hitler, I felt his face didn't look so coarse as he is portrayed in the movie. In the movie he looks sickly and bent. Could that transformation have taken place in the bunker in the last days? In the real life news pictures of Hitler, he looked stately and erect.

    The meals - The Germans use knife and fork (all of the finer society most definitely does at all times), but how come we see Hitler having meals with the women using only a fork, American style?

    As for Hitler having to look and act demented to portray the demonic - I vaguely remember the story of an Italian painter who wanted to paint the devil. He painted the devil an ugly creature with horns and hoofs etc. The devil then appeared to him in a dream and said that he insults God by portraying the devil in that ugly fashion. The devil reminded him that he could not put up such opposition to God, if he was so ugly and easily recognisable. Satan was after the smartest and most beautiful angel, who was banished from heaven only because he wanted to be equal to God. The devil is after all known as the master of deception and lies.

    Isn't it a naive expectation to think that Hitler was not a human being? Jesus had his human side too, although He was God in human form. Hitler wa s not the devil himself, a pure spirit without a body or human dimension. He was a man who had made by making wrong, life destroying choices based on an ideology he had. To him the ideology seemed perfectly logical. It was his 'truth' and he believed in it. There was no way he could have convinced so many if he was not being true to himself, even though what he believed in was not life-giving. Once he had convinced a powerful people of his ideology, getting their cooperation was easy. Who does not fall into the delusion of unlimited power, when it is portrayed as a grand ideology?

    Bottom line: The movie is a historical account. Hitler was a human being with flesh and blood and not a spirit, without a body. He is being portrayed as such.

    Previous: Really good | Next: whitewashing history

    Respond to this message | Return to original article: Downfall

    Comment index:

    » Der Untergang (Downfall) «   from Priya Bede, Apr 15, 2005
  • whitewashing history   from jake fisher, Apr 25, 2005
  • Re: whitewashing history   from jude, Jun 24, 2005
  • wake-up call   from Dorothea, May 1, 2005
  • true to form   from charlesmartinez1, Jun 4, 2006
  • Really good   from Ana Sinohui, Mar 21, 2007
  • » Der Untergang (Downfall) «   from Priya Bede, Apr 15, 2005
  • whitewashing history   from jake fisher, Apr 25, 2005
  • Re: whitewashing history   from jude, Jun 24, 2005
  • wake-up call   from Dorothea, May 1, 2005
  • true to form   from charlesmartinez1, Jun 4, 2006
  • Really good   from Ana Sinohui, Mar 21, 2007