Unlike the sourpuss "free world", the Nazis threw pretty kickass parties.
Like it or not, that's what I walk away with from Der Untergangi. I mean I get it, it's supposed to be high drama. It fails to work that way, at least for me. I have nothing against all the old people who possibly see the high drama in it, more power to them. But as far as I'm concerned, what I'm left with is topless Champagne fights. Which, quite honestly, are a great thing people don't do quite enough of (mostly because they're busy "voting" or whatever the fuck they're doing).
I'm not the only one, either. Probably the Internet's most overused, stale, old meme for the past decade is rebranding a certain scene from this film with new (allegedly funny) subtitles. You probably know it, one of the many hissing fits Ganz throws. "Das war ein Befehl! Steiners Attacke war ein Befehl!", that part. "Hitler finds out about <insert stupid shit>". That.
I suspect there's a reason we're not particularly convinced by old people rhetoric. I suspect that reason is that well... hey. Where's the film about Jewish propaganda in New York cca 1930, trying to cause trouble for German exports ? Where's the film about how the largest country in Europe was magically the smallest country in Europe ? O, they missed the boat because they spent the middle ages as free people instead of pushing whatever insane ideas about monarchy and consequently they don't get a country, right ? Great. Where's the film about how zee Germans don't get a colonial empire to fleece, British style, Spanish style, etcetera ? O, they missed the boat because they didn't have any ports because they invented fucking trade and the Hansa League, which was too soon, right ? Great.
But seriously now, I get it, Hitler teh bad, nazism teh evil and all that jazz. Can we move on to a somewhat more balanced recounting of history ? One where, for instance, we don't pretend like "the Allies" didn't kill a bunch of people at, for instance, Katyn. One where, for instance, we don't pretend like the Russians didn't then cover it up. One where, for instance, we don't pretend like the largest death count is Stalin's, not Hitler's, and was done with, not without Allied help and support. Which support includes the UK and includes the US. Which, joint and several, did the exact same thing every time and every place they had the opportunity, be it Indians in the East or Indians in the West or anyone else.
One where we don't pretend idiotic French foreign politics had nothing to do with the war (much like the exact very same idiotic French foreign politics pretty much ensured an unstable middle East for the past century or so). One where fighting "for freedom" is always fighting for money, 'cause literally nothing else can arse anyone into starting the outpour of lies, hypocrisy and general bullshit which regularly and quite inevitably leads nondescript idiots and beta apes down the warpath.
O, we can't ? A little too bright, that ? A little too soon ?
Well ok then. Carry on. Fix "the financial crisis", "resolve unemployment", win "the war on drugs" and "terrorism" and "copyright infringement" and whatnot. Don't mind me, I'm just going to carry on laughing. And don't ask me who I'm laughing at, for you know precious well what I'm laughing at : I am laughing at you.———
- 2004, by Oliver Hirschbiegel with Bruno Ganz and the two chicks in the pic. [↩]