It was released in Germany about a month ago. Some of the film has never?
It was released in Germany about a month ago. Some of the film has never been seen before. Other, more familiar parts haven't been seen in this country before. For this film, dealing with Germany's darkest period, was assembled, edited, and distributed by Germans. For Germans:
The film is based on the 1973 book "Hitler" by German historian Joachim Fest...a book considered by many to be the most authoritative, objective treatment of Hitler available.
Fest co-produced the picture, culling through miles of film in the West German archives and a number of other sources. He wrote the commentary for the film as well, and the result of this is two-and-a-half hours long. It has drawn large crowds wherever its been shown, and it has touched off quite a controversy.
One reason for this is the emphasis on Hitler as politician. Hitler is credited with seizing the restless mood of Germany in the late 1920's and giving people a purpose, pride and nationalism as perhaps no other politician could in those days.
The persecution of Jews and the brown-shirt bullying tactics are seen, of course, but not in great detail.
And when World War Two gets underway, the Death Camps and Concentration Camps account for only a few minutes of the film.
??? be a study of atrocity, but of a man who acted as a catalyst for all the aspirations and frustrations of the people at that time...and once he was gone, once he died in a Berlin bunker, nothing was left to keep that force alive.
Critics say young people...born well after the War and educated in a Germany that tends to gloss over the Hitler era will get a mistaken idea of the man...that his worst sin, according to the movie, was losing the war. Its a good film, they say, if you already know a lot about Hitler.
Then there are older moviegoers who lived through Hitler...and wonder now what they saw in him. We talked to some Berliners, young and old, just after the film ended: