Hake, Sabine. “Screen Nazis: Cinema, History, and Democracy” (Wisconsin Film Studies), University of Wisconsin Press, 2012.
A Fascination with Nazis
I find it very interesting that filmmakers are so fascinated with the Nazis—the leaders, the ritual and the symbols of a political party that took it upon themselves to use genocide to rid the world of more than six million people. This trend began as early as 1939 with “Confessions of a Nazi Spy” and it has continued through 2009 with “Inglorious Basterds” and is, in fact, still continuing.
Sabine Hake in “Screen Nazis” looks at this fascination, its emotional sources and its effects and gives us a study of the relationship between consumerism and films about fascism. She looks at the historical “partnership” between modern culture and the film industry’s depiction of the Nazis and the Nazi era and how emotional responses are elicited from the audiences who watch these movies. The book is made up of seven chapters which study movies made in West Germany, East Germany, Italy, and the United States from the beginning (as early as 1939) through the present day and the book contains many photographs and illustrations. There is a comprehensive discussion of the films as well as perspectives of production and reception history, film authorship, “performance, perception and intertextuality”. Hake also shares her dialogues with those involved with the making of these films and we get a new look at how Nazism is portrayed on film.
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