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... y, there is the viewpoint of an old Jewish man, who does not sing, but remains in his chair looking distraught and angry, hopelessly outnumbered in his stance. The pseudo-traditional German folk song (composed by John Kinder and Fred Ebb for the film) continues, more and more instruments join in and the tempo picks up. Naturally this has an effect on our two characters who leave soon after and return to their car.
By which time, the music has reached a massive crescendo. Max turns to Brian and says, You think you can control them? This refers to Brians earlier point about Nazism blowing over in a few months and how fanatic the country folk are towards Hitler. Fosse wanted to parody the Nazis by making all the Germans fiercely patriotic and by playing Devils Advocate, he makes the film look like it pledges support to the Nazis in such a way that it does not seem realistic. SCHINDLERS LIST Directed by Steven Spielburg (1993).
There is a scene from the film which is about the liquidation of the Jews in the Krakow (Poland) ghetto during the Second World War and the comparison of two mens lives on that fateful day. One man is a Wehrmacht Commander, Goeth (Ralph Fiennes); the other is a factory owner using slave labour, Schindler (Liam Neeson). The cinematography is similar to "Triumph des Willens" in that it uses long shots to view the neatly arranged rows of soldiers; close-ups to reveal their passive, ready-for-action expressions; non-diabetic music (music played as a soundtrack over the film) and that it is in black and white. It was made in black and white to give that authentic feel of World War Two movies, as colour had not yet been invented.
It starts with both men shaving. This portrays equality between the two they are both human. That is as far as the similarity goes. Goeth then dons a Wehrmacht outfit and Schindler goes out riding with a girlfriend. Outside the barracks there is a long, high-angle shot of Goeth addressing his men. In this shot you can see Goeth surrounded by power (his orderly soldiers).
The speech is in English for the audience to understand but the German soldiers talk in German, to add confusion to the scene and to make them seem different as they are speaking in a different language. The Polish people speak English with an accent because Spielburg wants us, the audience, to empathize with them and side against the Nazis. Goeth leads his soldiers into Krakow where they proceed to evict the Jewish inhabitants. The camera changes from over-the-shoulder shots following soldiers as they enter buildings, to long shots showing mass confusion, helped by movement of people into empty space. The camera also shows the clash between the humanity of the soldiers and the orders they have been given. When they are evicting the Jewish men, they are vicious feral monsters, but when evicting mothers and babies, they turn sweetly to the baby and ask the name of the child.
Meanwhile Schindler is watching the horror unfold from the top of a hill via an over-the-shoulder long-shot pan of the city. Seeing this makes him want to change his ways and help the Polish Jews. Spielburg wanted to portray the horrors of the Holocaust through this film but we have to be aware of slight exaggeration because Spielburg will have an element of bias towards the Polish Jews, being Jewish himself and also siding with the winners of the war. THE LION KING This scene from the Disney animated film directed in 1994 by Roger Allers and Rob Mink off refers explicitly to "Triumph des Willens" and Hitler.
The scene starts with Scar, the evil lion, in a chasm telling his hyena subordinates how he will usurp the throne from his brother, Mufasa which is a theme from Shakespeare's Hamlet. He then sings a song Be Prepared and the hyenas sit up and listen. The colour changes through different monochromes starting with different shades of yellow but then changes to red, blue and green. This is similar to the monochrome of "Triumph des Willens." Halfway through the song, Scar jumps onto a jutting out piece of rock and the camera angle switches to a low angle looking up at Scar. With Scars black mange, this is a strong reference to Hitlers black hair and moustache. The hyenas then proceed to goosestep past Scar in strict rank and file, referring to the Sturmabteilung (Storm Troopers) on the parade ground at Nuremburg.
All this imitates Riefenstahls cinematography and with a powerful tune in the background, it is bound to remind the viewers of "Triumph des Willens" or Hamlet. In the song Scar sings the following line You will never be hungry again, this is a reference to Hitlers speech at Nuremburg where he promises to give Lebensraum (living space). This film has to contain a majority perspective and bias so that is why Scar is the villain. If the film were made 60 years earlier under Hitler, perhaps Scar with a strong and obedient Simba by his side, would lead the pride against the impure hyenas and conquer the Serengeti. CONCLUSION Out of the four films I have reviewed, all have shown the Nazis in a different light, from positive to negative. However, there is one clear division. "Triumph des Willens" is the odd one out because it shows Hitler and the Nazis in a good light as it was made before the war and therefore does not have hindsight and it was German rather than American.
One has to look at this film with a neutral perspective, as the cinematography used in the film is still one of the best ever, even if it is Nazi propaganda. Hindsight also plays a major role in war films. No one wants to see Band of Brothers The German Perspective, following the German forces in France and how a single American paratrooper division defeats them. The reason behind this is that nobody backs a loser and why "Triumph des Willens" is almost forgotten and only remembered for its Nazi inclinations instead of its brilliant cinematography. The other three films either poke fun at or portray the Nazis as heartless villains. Most of the German soldiers were ordinary people like you or me and would not have enjoyed exterminating Jews but it makes very good cinema because there is a definite villain that the viewer can dislike from every angle.
Nazis are abhorred in common society and if one made a pro-Nazi film today, one would be heavily criticised. If Hitler had won, this would be the opposite, but in most cases the winner dictates history. Overall, due to my in-depth analysis of all four films, I conclude that Schindler's List portrays the Nazi goals most accurately. Although there is slight exaggeration of the barbarity of the Sturmabteilung, it was in Nazi policy to exterminate Jews.
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