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Nazi cautionary dramas wade into political, factual disputes

10 Comments
By LYNN ELBER

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That failed to satisfy Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center... While dramas can help educate people about Nazism, Hier said, such projects must be labeled a fictional account of a real event or risk giving fodder to Holocaust deniers.

I think Weil should have listened to the Rabbi.

You don't need to make up horrors to make a movie about the Holocaust. It's all there, documented, factual. Enough horrors to feed a thousand years of Holocaust movies, without the need to introduce imagined ones along with the danger of their being misinterpreted and used against you - something the Neo-Nazis and all their anti-Semitic hangers-on will be happy to do.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just watching the web TV series, Hunter with Al Pacino.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

David Simon is a quality brand, as we know from "The Wire" and his writing, while Philip Roth's chilling riff on Lewis Sinclair's "It Can't Happen Here" is a perfect metaphor for the right-wing virus of Trumpism. The timing of "The Plot Against America" in this election year is perfect although it won't do much to change the minds of fanatical stormtrumpers.

BTW. Missing from the list of films is Tarantino's masterful, metaphorical spoof of the Jewish revenge fantasy, "The Golem", "Inglorious Basterds", which sees our modern times through a glass darkly, a real cautionary tale to remind us of the truth in Nietzsche's dictum: “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm looking forward to watching this. It's just so apposite for the world in 2020.

"****In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and nothing was true... The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness."

That's Hannah Arendt from her 1951 book Origins Of Totalitarianism. She's describing something we see every day. It hasn't gone away.

 “The great analysts of truth and language in politics”---writes McGill University political philosophy professor Jacob T. Levy---including “George Orwell, Hannah Arendt, Vaclav Havel—can help us recognize this kind of lie for what it is.... Saying something obviously untrue, and making your subordinates repeat it with a straight face in their own voice, is a particularly startling display of power over them. It’s something that was endemic to totalitarianism.”

Still is, too.

http://www.openculture.com/2017/01/hannah-arendt-explains-how-propaganda-uses-lies-to-erode-all-truth-morality.html

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4 ( +4 / -0 )

Movies not being completely factual is nothing new. What's the big deal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Roth's novel is one of the best warnings against complacency there is. It was very apt when published during Dubya's regime and now even more so with the current rise of fascism and isolationism.

White supremacism and Nazism can never become palatable again.

NEVER.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Raw Beer, yes movies are often not factual, but the big deal is in introducing this non factual event in to the midst of real events it gives a tool to the deniers to chip away at the historical credibility, see Alfie above for a start in understanding how.

The intent of these programmes is honourable but the hazard is as always that commercial imperatives will undermine the intent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it gives a tool to the deniers to chip away at the historical credibility

Oh, revisionists have plenty to chip away at historical credibility; no need for them to watch and discuss this movie.

Anyway, this is not a documentary. Did anyone complain when Game of Thrones introduced dragons?

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Movies not being completely factual is nothing new. What's the big deal.

Indeed. The story is a fable, a warning against fascism. The kind of fascism that was initially embraced in both Europe and the US in the 30s.

It's very timely. And people complaining that it's not historically accurate are missing the point. 1984 was a warning, too, which seems to have been ignored.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nazis are bad, in my opinion.

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