Hitler - the Downfall

I've just returned from seeing the controversial Downfall which retraces Hitler's final days in his bunker beneath Berlin - a harrowing two and a half hours though I'm slightly confused about the controversy it has managed to create. Unsurprisingly, German cinema has not been too interested in making films about him though I'm unsure whether it is from fear of reviving his spirit, fear of humanising him or a wilful effort to banish him to the history books...

Downfall does make Hitler appear more human than in the subtly named Hitler - Rise of Evil but the film is mostly interested in his hand in his own downfall and the nature of his entourage's blind adoration of him. It's a difficult film to fathom mostly due to its refusal to deal with anything outside of Berlin - this means that they never deal explicitly with the issue of the Holocaust bar a rapid printed line before the credits. This is naturally what many have seen as the film's fatal flaw and a thorny issue indeed (and one I won't even attempt to answer here).

A review will probably be written at a later point but I'll be needing more time to think about the film before being able to evaluate in greater depth. Still, whenever it gets a UK release, it will be one to look out for and I would not be surprised if it becomes a milestone in the cinematic interpretation of the Twentieth Century's most infamous figures.

As an aside, are my parents and I the sole people who thought that Hitler died in Berchtesgaden or is this a commonly held - but incorrect - historical fact?

Last updated: 19/04/2018 10:37:21

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