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Re: Downfall

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  • gaddis5
    ... knowledgeable of ... interesting ... leaders of ... I took my son to see this movie (Downfall) as a 16th birthday treat (!) for him. We both found the film
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 2, 2005
      --- In evforum@yahoogroups.com, "S. Barret Dolph" <wheds8@m...> wrote:
      > I would be interested to hear the reactions of those more
      knowledgeable of
      > this new movie of the last days of Hitler.
      >
      > Cordially,
      > S. Barret Dolph
      >
      > PS. I showed the movie to my high school age students. It may be
      interesting
      > that they kept thinking of the Nazi high command as being like the
      leaders of
      > a business group.


      I took my son to see this movie (Downfall) as a 16th birthday treat
      (!) for him. We both found the film to be an apparently convincing
      evocation of Berlin in April 45, and the acting of Bruno Ganz as
      Hitler was remarkable. Most of the criticism that I've read about the
      film revolves around the 'danger' of portraying such a 'human' Hitler
      - as he was something different! From a Voegelinian perspective,
      however, I would say it illustrated two things rather well:the
      humanely degenerative effects of too-much-faith in man-made systems
      that have hypostasized into a 'gnostic' scotosis; and, what I think EV
      would call the 'reality of evil'and its consequences in human affairs.
      One curius thing: at the end of the film the audience remained seated
      and silent for several minutes as if no-one was prepared to break the
      spell - although I can ownly speculate what the precise nature of that
      spell was.

      Cordially,
      Steve Conlin (Gaddis5)
    • brutonj
      Gentlemen: Downfall is a gripping movie, though not for altogether good reasons in one reviewer s opinion. In an April 1 review in The Guardian Stormtrooper
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 2, 2005
        Gentlemen:

        Downfall is a gripping movie, though not for altogether good reasons in one reviewer's opinion. In an April 1 review in The Guardian "Stormtrooper superstars", Stephen Moss criticizes the film not for humanizing Hitler, but rather for "lionising the SS who remain brave, unbending and beautifully dressed as Berlin disintegrates around them."

        He continues "as the bombs rain down on the bunker....we live the moment of courage and resistance." Indeed, as a former soldier, I asked myself throughout the movie how would I have performed had I been one of Berlin's defenders in this utterly hopeless situation, or been in the boots of the defending commander General Weidling.

        Military duty notwithstanding, Moss explains the seduction of what Mr. Conlin aptly described as a "man-made system" of fascism:

        "Fascism swept through Europe in the 1930s, and remains a threat against which liberal societies have to be vigilant, because at its core is a very attractive idea: the notion of the common will, of empowerment through subjection. The individual - weak, vain, destined to die - can truly find himself only within the organic whole of his society (or race, in Nazi Germany's case).

        "Fascists are good at 'creative destruction', to borrow a phrase. They reject the incremental, uncertain progress of liberal democracies, with their petty squabbles and small ideas, and concentrate on convincing us that we can remake society in a moment if we have the will. It is a seductive argument. Fascists have the vision thing in abundance. Which is why this compelling movie is dangerous. It doesn't try to argue with fascism; indeed, it underlines its appeal."

        Rather than seeing the appeal in Downfall as a cinematic flaw, perhaps we should employ the movie as Exhibit A to illustrate how such a man-made system is willing to sacrifice millions of its people at the altar of a social and political fantasy.

        Cordially,



        Jim Bruton


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • <none>
        And fascism is distinct from liberal democracies in this regard how...? Liberal democracy is a man-made system, and its participants have regularly
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 2, 2005
          And fascism is distinct from liberal democracies in this regard how...?
          Liberal democracy is a man-made system, and its participants have
          regularly demonstrated the willingness to sacrifice millions of people.
          Fascism allows us to blame a party and, usually, a strong, central
          male leader that stands in for the national ideal. Liberal democracies
          can blame only "the people" and, by blaming everyone, blame no one.

          Jim Rovira

          --- brutonj <brutonj@...> wrote:
          > Rather than seeing the appeal in Downfall as a cinematic flaw,
          > perhaps we should employ the movie as Exhibit A to illustrate how
          > such a man-made system is willing to sacrifice millions of its people
          > at the altar of a social and political fantasy.
          >
          > Cordially,
          > Jim Bruton
        • S. Barret Dolph
          Silence... Interestingly enough my students and I were silent after the film as well. I think the film shows how ordinary people can be drawn into such
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 3, 2005
            Silence...

            Interestingly enough my students and I were silent after the film as well. I
            think the film shows how ordinary people can be drawn into such madness.

            Cordially,
            S. Barret Dolph


            On Saturday 02 July 2005 00:14, gaddis5 wrote:
            > --- In evforum@yahoogroups.com, "S. Barret Dolph" <wheds8@m...> wrote:
            > > I would be interested to hear the reactions of those more
            >
            > knowledgeable of
            >
            > > this new movie of the last days of Hitler.
            > >
            > > Cordially,
            > > S. Barret Dolph
            > >
            > > PS. I showed the movie to my high school age students. It may be
            >
            > interesting
            >
            > > that they kept thinking of the Nazi high command as being like the
            >
            > leaders of
            >
            > > a business group.
            >
            > I took my son to see this movie (Downfall) as a 16th birthday treat
            > (!) for him. We both found the film to be an apparently convincing
            > evocation of Berlin in April 45, and the acting of Bruno Ganz as
            > Hitler was remarkable. Most of the criticism that I've read about the
            > film revolves around the 'danger' of portraying such a 'human' Hitler
            > - as he was something different! From a Voegelinian perspective,
            > however, I would say it illustrated two things rather well:the
            > humanely degenerative effects of too-much-faith in man-made systems
            > that have hypostasized into a 'gnostic' scotosis; and, what I think EV
            > would call the 'reality of evil'and its consequences in human affairs.
            > One curius thing: at the end of the film the audience remained seated
            > and silent for several minutes as if no-one was prepared to break the
            > spell - although I can ownly speculate what the precise nature of that
            > spell was.
            >
            > Cordially,
            > Steve Conlin (Gaddis5)
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > In consideratione creaturarum non est vana
            > et peritura curiositas exercenda; sed gradus
            > ad immortalia et semper manentia faciendus.
            > —St Augustine De vera religione
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
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