Hotel Terminus: The Life & Times of Klaus Barbie
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A real-life detective story. Entertaining and engrossing. --Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
Ophuls' film is an attempt to hold on to him [Barbie], to retrieve him from forgetfulness. The light Ophuls shines on his subject fixes him forever in our minds. --Hal Hinson, Washington Post
Top Customer Reviews
This is a spellbinding four hour, twenty eight minute documentary, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary film in 1988. Yes, it rings as true 16 years later as it did then, perhaps even more so! It is as timeless a documentary as Leni Riefenstahls "Triumph of the Will" documenting the aspirations of the Third Reich itself. Interlaced with Barbies story, Ophüls hangs out in pool halls with "everyday" Frenchmen, hears their opinions, visits Barbie's childhood home where the high school he attended has no institutional memory of him, to the mountains of Bolivia where even the uniforms of the President and his minions are reminiscent of Hugo Boss's designs of uniforms for the Third Reich...
This is a fascinating trip through the Western World of the 20th century that, in my opinion stands the test of time as one of the best on the personalities of the Third Reich.Read more ›
Remember that 1000 people massacred doesn't reach as much to the heart as one person tortured, with a name and last name to identify. Well this documentary does this job. We, the audience, can hardly appreciate -sitting in the comfort of our free Western societies, decades now away from those terrible times- the value of a document like this one. The film starts at Barbie's birthplace, family circle, etc. and moves, in four hours, to his trial at old age in France. Like a detective story it traces his life through family members, victims, people who met him and people who just might have been his neighbors, knowingly or not. What I mean is, regardless of the film being wonderfully directed and entertaining, this film has a value that makes it priceless. Here is a picture of society, made up of all kinds of people (it is France and Germany, but it is rather about the Homo Sapiens), and it shows how all humans fail to live up to what we expect of others than ourselves. If not guilty of some heinous crime, we might fail because of collaboration; if not by collaboration, then by omission of help; and if not by this, then maybe by throwing the stone at someone whose shoes we are not in. We all fall short.
This documentary is priceless. We are liable to do it again, right here today, in the West. We are already, in fact: don't we ignore the crimes that dictatorial regimes and Muslim loonies perpetrate to thousands every single day, specially to women? We are not the Resistance; we are collaborators.
Worth the time and money investment!
Ranks with "Shoah" and "Night and Fog" as one of the films to watch regarding the relevance of the Holocaust today.
The film is so well done and the story so well told. It is hard to watch but it is even harder not to watch. Make the time to watch this film. It will touch you as few others have done.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Hotel Terminus" took the Best Foreign Picture award when it first came out, probably because of its generational impact with the participants alive. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Gene Cisco
Klaus Barbie DVD Hotel Terminus. I gave this rating of 5 stars and I will not add anything else to that rating. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Anthony R. Santoro