Director Hans-Jürgen Syberberg examines the rise and fall of the Third Reich in this brooding seven-hour masterpiece, which incorporates puppetry, rear-screen projection, and a Wagnerian score into a singular epic vision.
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yup, saw this at a screening two days ago...still awed. 4 hours - one hour break - 3 hours...digital projection. the first 5 minutes looped 3 times...5 people at the screening, roughly 1/3 of the film in original german without subtitles (i know no german at all), and the rest subtitled in english....the best movie experience i've had in a long long long long long time...in fact i feel like the break killed the mood.
Someday I will find myself in the middle of a brecht play, feeling so self-conscious but becoming so intimate with the material that is presented in such clinical fashion. This is an accommodation or breathing space, where the artist and audience ruminate and plug the metaphysical gaps together. A veritable work of art.
To say that this is a massive fantasia on Nazism is an understatement. To me it's both a product of the destruction of the sanctity of the mythic past in the twentieth century and a comment on this process. The greatest film that most people have never seen -and, sadly, never will.
Crowning filmic achievement about the 'Hitler' phenomenon. Syberberg exploits to the fullest the rich pool of German culture, ranging from romanticism to Lebensphilosophie. The density of vocal and visual stimuli -with back projections of sheer brilliance- is extraordinary. Extraordinary is also the sophistication of Syberberg's (reactionary) critique of mass culture. A towering accomplishment of cinema's own guilt!
With a work of such immense richness, I can only give a petty comment. The film not only made me wonder if I could have been one of Hitler's puppets, but also whether I could have been one of Syberberg's puppets.
Amazing film. The visuals, the soundtrack, the concepts of "Hitler" in each of us are breathtaking--if you have the patience of sitting through a 10-part documentary cum staged play. It remains one of my all time favourite films. Susan Sontag wrote a book on this cinematic work. It will affect any sensitive individual who can reflect on the power of cinema that combines sight, sound and memories.