European film review: Napola (Before the fall) (2005) : "In technical terms, Napola is a lush production shot on location in Prague with gorgeous visuals and dramatic use of lighting."

It's also something a bit more:

"There is no denying that many actions of the Nazis were cruel and uncalled for, but it is also true that for all Germans, their parents or grand-parents, neighbours or siblings were part of that movement, whether forced or not, whether misled or not and whether for the right reasons (if any exist) or not. The current generation of Germans has to come to terms with these facts and the recent avalanche of German films set during the Nazi regime is an indication that something is moving in German society in this respect."

I think this is a reference primarily to 'The Bunker' (Der Untergang) which was making the rounds earlier this year and making chins wag for daring to hint at Hitler's human side. I'm not sure if there is an avalanche going on or not, but this new film is described as "yet another German film that seeks to penetrate this dark chapter of German history and tries to populate it with real people."

I fail to see why this should be so controversial (as in Germany it apparently is). Anybody who can detect an apologia in this kind of introspection is looking too hard. Being reminded that 'real people' were involved makes the Nazi story even more alarming, not less, and makes it even more worth learning and remembering that it really wasn't all that long ago still.

Steve | 14:28 |