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also known as Das Goebbels-Experiment

The Goebbels Experiment2004

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  • 4.2
Joseph Goebbels has survived the Nazi regime as a trademark. Nowadays, the name Goebbels stands for unbridled, cynical and (at least partially) successful propaganda. Comparisons with Goebbels are made at regular intervals as a means of branding certain politicians as evil rabblerousers and Polemicists. However, Joseph Goebbels' life was more enigmatic and unsettling than his current classification as propaganda genius or "inveterate liar of the Third Reich" would suggest. Lutz Hachmeister and Michael Kloft's film shows how Goebbels was constantly stage-managing his life and reinventing himself, from his beginnings as a "National Socialist" to his suicide with his wife and children. Suggesting to audiences that Goebbels' career was not unlike that of a modern politician in the eye of the media; this documentary is unusual in that it abstains from the use of commentary [Goebbels' own diaries (that he kept continually from 1924 to 1945 and in which he wrote excessively) being the only "voice" in the film.]

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1 member likes this review

The "rate this film" feature is difficult for me to contend with because I don't know if I am ranking it in the context of documentaries about Hitler and the Nazis or in the context of film in general. I think that, based on the content available on this particular website, I should rank it in the context of film in general. That is why it is getting four stars, although if I could, I would give it three and a half. I will say if I was ranking it in the context of documentary films about Hitler and the Nazis, I would probably give it a 4.5 or even a 5 because it is very intriguing.

This film is narrated by Goebbels, essentially; the narration is comprised mostly of excerpts from Goebbels' diary, obviously read by someone else. I think that there are certainly the arm chair historians out there, hopefully not too many on this website (I would expect that more from amazon), who might not know much about Goebbels, the Nazis, Hitler, etc., except for from film; to those people I say, shame on you.

For those of us out there who know a bit about this time period and the machinations of the Nazi regime, though, this film is a unique addition to the genre and contributes to a better understanding of Nazi ontology. I have read Zizek remark as to the nature of certain Nazi characters, for example, that these men would go home and play violin or engage in some kind of high brow cultural activity; Zizek mentions this because people don't assume that the Nazis were capable of appreciating anything "sophisticated," or even normal. I think that this film demonstrates the petty bourgeoisie, quasi-intellectual ethos of certain members of the Nazi party. Goebbels wasn't trying very hard to be himself; I think Hitler was more of a self-conscious creation. Goebbels fluidly details his and Hitler's rise to power in a chilling fashion that is meaningful in itself. I have not read Goebbels diary personally, but it is interesting source material to use.

This film uses the "show," as opposed to the "tell," approach when it comes to the Nazis, which is refreshing. I understand that to say that a Nazi documentary is refreshing sounds grotesque from the perspective of a non-academic or non-historian, for example, and for those people, I do not mean that Goebbels is a refreshing character. But for those of us who engage in this material from an academic perspective, the film is self-conscious of the fact that we have already come to understand the brutal, horrific, and irrational nature of the Nazis; this film goes a little beyond the standard portrayal.

If you are looking to have what you read on wikipedia or saw in some film by Hollywood, don't watch this, it won't be exciting for you; go engage in the sublime experience of witnessing Hollywood genocide on Netflix or something. If you are interested in Nazi ideology and the history of the interwar period generally, I recommend highly.

Member Reviews (5)

The "rate this film" feature is difficult for me to contend with because I don't know if I am ranking it in the context of documentaries about Hitler and the Nazis or in the context of film in general. I think that, based on the content available on this particular website, I should rank it in the context of film in general. That is why it is getting four stars, although if I could, I would give it three and a half. I will say if I was ranking it in the context of documentary films about Hitler and the Nazis, I would probably give it a 4.5 or even a 5 because it is very intriguing.

This film is narrated by Goebbels, essentially; the narration is comprised mostly of excerpts from Goebbels' diary, obviously read by someone else. I think that there are certainly the arm chair historians out there, hopefully not too many on this website (I would expect that more from amazon), who might not know much about Goebbels, the Nazis, Hitler, etc., except for from film; to those people I say, shame on you.

For those of us out there who know a bit about this time period and the machinations of the Nazi regime, though, this film is a unique addition to the genre and contributes to a better understanding of Nazi ontology. I have read Zizek remark as to the nature of certain Nazi characters, for example, that these men would go home and play violin or engage in some kind of high brow cultural activity; Zizek mentions this because people don't assume that the Nazis were capable of appreciating anything "sophisticated," or even normal. I think that this film demonstrates the petty bourgeoisie, quasi-intellectual ethos of certain members of the Nazi party. Goebbels wasn't trying very hard to be himself; I think Hitler was more of a self-conscious creation. Goebbels fluidly details his and Hitler's rise to power in a chilling fashion that is meaningful in itself. I have not read Goebbels diary personally, but it is interesting source material to use.

This film uses the "show," as opposed to the "tell," approach when it comes to the Nazis, which is refreshing. I understand that to say that a Nazi documentary is refreshing sounds grotesque from the perspective of a non-academic or non-historian, for example, and for those people, I do not mean that Goebbels is a refreshing character. But for those of us who engage in this material from an academic perspective, the film is self-conscious of the fact that we have already come to understand the brutal, horrific, and irrational nature of the Nazis; this film goes a little beyond the standard portrayal.

If you are looking to have what you read on wikipedia or saw in some film by Hollywood, don't watch this, it won't be exciting for you; go engage in the sublime experience of witnessing Hollywood genocide on Netflix or something. If you are interested in Nazi ideology and the history of the interwar period generally, I recommend highly.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Another interesting source of WWII information here.

this film struck a chord in these innaresting times , 2017 ,just sayin' , thought it was very well put to-gether, always fascinated to see how Goebbels really was the first guy to really use media, he was the architect of Nazi Propaganda, love how he disses the Italian cinema lol!

Very interesting movie based upon years of Goebbels diary. You hear mention of his own despairs, conflicts, problems in marriage.

As expected,the movie was pretty much pro Geobble,with little else

I disagree that this film is pro-Goebbels. I think you should probably justify that statement.