Sunday, September 18, 2011

review Sophie Scholl: the Final Days

The film continues the ouevre of revisionist films that fantasize the Deutsch Volk opposition in National Socialist Germany. The story is real but the manipulation of images is to make Germans feel good about a horrific past. I kept thinking of the dissonance with the diaries of Walter Klemperer, the Nazi fanaticism in his university, his jail time, and recording the daily solidarity of Germans with Hitler into 1945.

The history of the White Rose could be brilliant with the critical thinking of say a Fassbinder, Edgar Reitz, or Wim Wenders. The film makes history feel good for those in Triberg, Flensburg, Passau who reconcile the kindly opa who did his duty in the Gestapo and genocide in the heimat.

On a petty level, Sophie's jam on da bread in jail looks better than what I am eating today in 2011 USA. Her bed is so fluffy! No rats, no filthy toilet. In reality, Sophie went to court with a broken leg from the torture. The film makes the polite Gestapo make NYC police officers look even thuggier. I felt the memory of Anne Frank betrayed with those longing looks at the sky! The film is kitschy but complete revisionism in its work. Amazing that Germany submitted this for an Oscar!

I have been to every Lander. It is amazing to see white German reactions when 2 or more Black folks get together! The film does not fit with my lenses. Perhaps I have known too many Jewish refugees, contemporary German exiles, Turks living in Germany, or Americans who have lived in Germany. I am an Auslander, and really do not value normative Deutsch mentalite. I love Munich but it is not Paris, London nor New York with a vibrant diversity of peoples as well as histories.

Is the film good for domestic German TV.. yes! Is it art or critical thinking.. no. The gemeinshaft was suffocating! Forgive the filmmaker Sophie! I think the filmmaker would make a great story of the lives of Marianne Hoppe and Gustav Grundgens, perhaps the ultimate Deutsch film couple!

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