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Film Review: Hitler’s Hollywood


Style GQ: (Film Review) If Joseph Goebbels strived to create a Nazi cinema that matched Hollywood’s, then what of the results?

“Hitler’s Hollywood,” an essay film that uses clips to explore the aesthetics, attitudes and messages of German cinema from 1933 to 1945, has some answers — and begins by acknowledging the perilousness of the terrain. “We barely know these films, but there is no reason to look away,” says the narrator, the character actor Udo Kier. The movie recommends a look “that focuses on the details and disregards the surface message without losing sight of it.”

The study of this period of filmmaking is hardly new, and the director, Rüdiger Suchsland, quotes influential theorists like Siegfried Kracauer, Hannah Arendt and Susan Sontag. (“From Caligari to Hitler,” Mr. Kracauer’s landmark analysis of Weimar-era cinema as a reflection of national attitudes, served as a basis for a previous documentary by Mr. Suchsland.)

Hitler’s Hollywood