German pics take fresh look at Nazi era
The newest film to tackle Germany's Nazi past is Dennis Gansel's "Before the Fall" (Napola), which Picture This Entertainment opens Friday in Los Angeles, also engages the verboten with an evocative coming-of-age story told against the backdrop of an elite yet barbaric Nazi academy.
Gansel says he chose the subject matter in an attempt to come to terms with his family history. His grandfather was a student and later a teacher at a Nazi war academy similar to the one depicted in "Before the Fall."
"All his life until his death 10 years ago, he wanted us -- the grandchildren -- to understand how the system worked, what made him so excited about fascism," Gansel says. "My father never understood it because he was very left wing, and there was no real communication between my grandfather and my father. It took another generation, which is my sister and me, to understand it."
But "Before the Fall" is no Nazi valentine. In fact, through its honest depiction of how a young German is seduced by the system, the film becomes a more effective indictment of the Nazis' brutal regime than the more traditional one-dimensional representations.
comments powered by Disqus
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History