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Swastika1974

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  • 3.8
SWASTIKA is the most controversial documentary about Hitler ever made. Utilizing intimate color home movie footage shot by Eva Braun, the film presents the private life of a dictator, going on picnics and joking with friends, displaying a banal face to the man labeled as the devil incarnate by history. The film interweaves rare propaganda films which presented Hitler as he wanted to be seen (consoling war widows and frolicking with young children). Director Philippe Mora combines these materials together to form a revelatory autobiography of Hitler's rise and fall, from the formation of the Nazi state through the end of WWII. After a tumultuous reception in Cannes in 1973, the film was banned in Germany for 37 years until 2010, when it opened to reviews acknowledging its significant contribution to understanding Nazism. As the opening credits state, "If Hitler is dehumanized and shown only as a devil, any future Hitler may not be recognized, simply because he is a human being."

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8 members like this review

This documentary is well worth watching. We must never forget that men rise up as great leaders not as scowling monsters but by winning the love of their people. Only after all has gone badly and they are ruined can we paint them as beast with the brush of history. Such men are leading in the world today. You have voted for them. You have rallied for them. Given the right conditions they may one day show themselves to be as evil as Hitler became. Perhaps you just don't know it yet...

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (13)

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top reviewer

This documentary is well worth watching. We must never forget that men rise up as great leaders not as scowling monsters but by winning the love of their people. Only after all has gone badly and they are ruined can we paint them as beast with the brush of history. Such men are leading in the world today. You have voted for them. You have rallied for them. Given the right conditions they may one day show themselves to be as evil as Hitler became. Perhaps you just don't know it yet...

8 members like this review
38da2866761a57607ff8e53f91ae2253?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0042
top reviewer

There is so much information that is coming out because of efforts like Fandor, which I applaud and other sources which are made possible by ROKU. I now watch because I learn. The subject of the Third Reich is very important. 'Swastika' is unique because it shows the leaders of the Nazi movement at play.

After reading Shirer's 'Berlin Diary'. 'IBM and the Holocaust' and Richard Evans' Trilogy about the Third Reich rise to power there is one unmistakable truth. The German population supported the Nazi movement because they prospered. The Resistance courageously fought back, while the German population, for the most part, turned their heads and looked the other way. If you look carefully at the movie, 'Swastika' this is clear.

While the first to be rounded up, according to Evans, were the mentally ill, the crippled, and the weak. The German population turned and looked away. Opposition raising a cry were slaughtered, the population turned and looked the other way. Again 'Swastika' clearly describes this.

The Resistance begins to cause damage to the Reich, the Allies begin levelling Berlin and other industrial cities along with the Autobahn and the factories that created the people's car . . . the Volkswagon. Finally the population pay attention, but when the Jews and millions were gassed death camps that were close to the cities they still looked away.

If we watch 'Swastika' and read of the Third Reich and are blinded how similar the population of the US is to the 'good' Germans then the lessons will be lost. Fandor, thanks for making movies like 'Swastika' possible.

4 members like this review
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top reviewer

Concept and the use of "home videos" format almost entirely are excellent. Unfortunately, there is an entire lack of narrative/direction. There ought to be more juxtaposions between the reality and the fantasy. I recognize the filmmakers wanted the viewer to perceive something, but the lack of movement bored me. Also, these amateur films have been seen ad nauseam, even by 1974.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Interesting to see these historical films and get a somewhat German perspective. Still amazed how a cult of personality can become so infectious in a large population of people.

2 members like this review

This film vividly displays the Third Reich as a giant, and perverse, cult focused on a Leader, namely Hitler. The juxtaposition of urban scenes and rallies and the intimate 'home life' of Hitler and Eva, his future wife and Hitler's closest friends sharpens the fiendishly cultic persona of Hitler. Hitler may have been a human being. But he was a monster as well.

1 member likes this review

different

1 member likes this review

Fascinating. Nauseating. Weird. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see this because I've never seen anything like it and I've watched many docs about Nazi Germany. The point of view is stunning. There is no narration. Hitler only AT TIMES seemed human. Eva Braun was very athletic.

1 member likes this review

Interesting narrative-free documentary put together by David Puttnam among others . . . but nearly unwatchable because of the video quality.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Disturbing and unforgettable

A large collection of movie footage with Hitler and his cronies. It is amazing what they were able to build and amazing the destruction they caused.

The rise of modern dictators often comes with the assent of the people, if not their outright support. Indeed, it is thoughtlessness, cowardice, and prejudicial tribalism that makes these fiends possible. Again and again. Once in power, what prevents them from sending their nations to war? The worst leaders are those who deny their intentions and lie about their actions, persecute dissenters. We're seeing this again.

Couldn't get through it

Excellent documentary with rare color footage of Hitler and his inner circle throwing parties , planning their spectacles while their policies doomed Germany to a twelve year hell .