The Red Baron: unease, but national hero at last as film hits theaters

Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits

A film about the heroic Prussian pilot who shot down a record 80 British, Canadian and Australian airmen during the First World War, will be shown at cinemas across the country next month. It will be the first time since the Nazi era that Germany will portray one of its own military figures in film as a national hero.

In Germany, The Red Baron, which has cost a record €18m (£14m) to produce, is almost predestined to provoke a wave of anguished criticism, a batch of dreadful reviews and a prolonged bout of soul searching about the rights and wrongs of using German battlefield bravery and heroism as the subject for a popular feature film.

The movie comes at a moment in which Germany finds itself seriously at odds over military matters. The country is facing constant criticism from its Nato allies over its reluctance to deploy troops in war-torn southern Afghanistan.

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