Downfall

[Amazon Link] [3.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

This movie scored an impressive 91% on the Tomatometer, and is ranked #48 on IMDB's Top 250 List. So you'd think I'd like it a little better.

It's the story of the last few days of Hitler and Nazi Germany; it follows the stories of a small number of people, most in Hitler's inner circle. And if you've read even a smattering of the era's history, you probably know it's going to be a nightmarish tale of unremitting darkness, full of decadence, delusion, madness, murder, suicide, and gore. The only bright spot is in our knowing that it's the end to one long, evil, story.

The filmmakers obviously took pains to get things right; most of the actors bear uncanny physical resemblances to the actual people they're playing. And much of the dialog is based on memoirs (although, apparently, some of Hitler's lines were actually said in earlier times.) Filmviewers are getting pretty much the real deal here. (Although Wikipedia differs on the details of the deaths of the Goebbels family.)

But it's pretty much just that; if you're looking for inspiration or insight through all the nightmare, you'll be disappointed.

By coincidence, I happened upon this quote at Phi Beta Cons (in response to a more modern nightmare):

Evil is nothingness, evil is a mystery, evil is incomprehensible. One can note the word "diabolical" also: it means "tear apart." Evil fragments meaning and community. God and the good are "symbolic," in the sense that they bind communities together with meaning.
The movie's heavy on the diabolism, and symbolism is absent.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:51 PM EDT