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Swastika


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Product Details

  • Actors: Eva Braun, Josef Goebbels, Adolph Hitler
  • Directors: Philippe Mora
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Black & White, Full Screen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0063E00GQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,187 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

From Academy Award Winning Producer David Puttnam (Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, The Killing Fields) comes the most controversial documentary (that was BANNED at the Cannes Film Festival) about Hitler ever made. Utilizing intimate color home movie footage shot by Eva Braun, it presents the private life of a dictator, going on picnics and joking with friends, displaying an affable face to the man labeled as the Devil incarnate by history. The film interweaves rare propaganda films, which presented Hitler as he wanted to be seen, consoling war widows and frolicking with young children. Director Philippe Mora combines these materials together to form an unintentional autobiography of Hitler's rise and fall, from the formation of the Nazi state through the end of WWII. Mora lets the images speak for themselves, leading to misinterpretations and its bans in Germany and Israel. But it is one of the most fearsome anti-Nazi films ever made. As the opening credits state, ''If Hitler is dehumanized and shown only as a devil, any future Hitler may not be recognized, simply because he is a human being.''

SPECIAL FEATURES: Discussion with the filmmakers, Featurette: Manipulation and Nazi Propaganda , Interview with Albert Speer, Featurette: Color Film in Nazi Germany , Bonus Audio feature: Puncturing the Myth of Leni Riefenstahl .

Customer Reviews

Not what we thought, but it was very interesting to see these historic films.
ShawnB
It is a film that makes the viewer experience something radically different and having experienced it forces them to understand exactly what they have experienced.
Joseph Egan
The film jumps to different aspects of the war and at times seems hard to follow.
Big D

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Egan on June 13, 2010
Format: DVD
This is an absolutely fascinating look at pre-war Nazi Germany. The film attempts and I believe succeeds in allowing the viewer to experience what it was like to live in Germany prior to the Second World War. This was before the bombings, death camps and all the horrors that are now associated with the words Nazi and Adolf Hitler. Hitler as well as his inner circle are shown in a manner that makes them all too human and, for me; quite easy to relate to on a human level. That alone would make the film worth watching but what I really found extremely powerful was seeing how much the German people idolized Hitler and watching it could understand why. The film was vilified when it first opened and considered by many pro Nazi because it lets the viewer interpret this material for themselves. This is a film that doesn't "tell" the viewer anything. It is a film that makes the viewer experience something radically different and having experienced it forces them to understand exactly what they have experienced. If you have ever asked yourself "why Nazi Germany", this film will set you on the road to answering that question. In my opinion, the film's preface says everything: "If the human features of Hitler are lacking in the image of him that is passed onto posterity, if he is dehumanized and shown only as a devil, any future Hitler may not be recognized, simply because he is human being." Swastika is a one-of-a-kind must see film.
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72 of 80 people found the following review helpful By riwabo on August 24, 2006
Format: DVD
I first saw this documentary in 1976. It took several days for me to shake the chilling, disturbing effect it had on me at the time. I just bought the DVD and watched about half of it. It still has the same effect, particularly if you have not seen it before.

What makes it so upsetting? It's not what you've come to expect in a documentary about Nazi Germany. This is the Nazis through their own eyes. The entire film is archival footage from the time. There is no narration. There are no post-facto talking heads. In short, there is no editorializing, and, lacking that, you start to see why the German people were willing to follow such evil people.

The bulk of the film is from before the war. The highlight is Eva Braun's home movies of Hitler and the Nazi leadership. We see Hitler relaxing at Obersalzburg, talking to friends, greeting children, petting dogs. As the film says at the beginning, it is necessary to see the human face of evil in order to recognize it the next time.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Dupre on January 13, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For those who are avid students of WW II, those who have seen the better WW II documentary films and those who watch a lot of The Military Channel and The History Channel on cable, 90% of the Berghof footage is old news. A lot of the Nuremberg footage is well known. There is a very short scene of one of the Braun sisters skinny dipping up in the mountains which was new to me. Yes,they played with their doggies, sipped tea, doted over the children, frolicked in the Alpine meadows and murdered millions. There are numerous scenes of ordinary Germans doing mundane things especially Bavarian farmers who look like Appalachian hillbillies. There is some interesting footage of German kids going to summer (indoctrination)camp and it looks like everybody in Germany wore a uniform. Look at the faces of the people in the huge crowds and you can see and feel the hysterical "fatal attraction" Hitler had over these people. This film is an excellent slice of German life from 1933 to 1939. The ironies are overwhelming. It is well worth watching.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By J. Nelson on October 10, 2006
Format: DVD
Swastika was really quite an excellent film and the DVD release quality is very good. The only bad elements about the DVD were the grandiose commentaries by the original production team, which are peppered with inaccuracies, distortions and , pardon the term, propaganda. Buy the DVD, watch the film, avoid the so called "special features". There is an especially vicious little vignette on "The Leni Riefenstahl Myth" which undoubtedly has her spinning in her grave.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DickBuick on April 27, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting video because it does as the director tried to do and that was the to show the private side of the Hitler clan. It was nice to see how the old Germany looked before we bombed into rubble. It is hard for the novice to understand how he came to power and how much he was adored until you realize how bad the economic conditions were getting after the first World War. The people were starving for someone to lift them out of this terrible time and Hitler showed up right at the perfect moment. One has to wonder how Germany and Europe would have become if Hitler had not been driven to start grabbing other countries and igniting the second World War. But as I have heard from many people, the only reason the people ended up hating Hitler was because he lost the war. That is very scary.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Von Hyperborea on November 20, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This is a great film if you are into WW 2 history beyond "Nazis are evil,we are good" idealogy.Excep for 1 small clip of a contast between German kids at play and kids in the death camps,the film is mostly behind the scenes clips taken at The Eagle Nest and various rallies.Instead of the Hitler shouting at rallies ,we get to see the real man.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By zeke7 on January 8, 2012
Format: DVD
Home movies of Hitler with Goering & Goebbels & Eva & the gang (much of it at der Berghof, much shot by Eva), a bit of Bormann, Himmler, & Speer as well, interspersed with plenty of domestic documentary footage, predominantly from 1933 to 1939.

Eva exhibitionistically posing in a swimsuit whilst hanging from a lakeshore tree branch; Adolf lovingly petting a German shepherd, & elsewhere observing that a recreational-boar-hunting "Göring should go into the forest with a spear." A squadron of planes flying in perfect swastika formation, Neville Chamberlain's declarations of triumphant diplomacy, even Jesse Owens praising his hosts' treatment at the 12th Olympics.

These were gay, heady times in the Third Reich, and the camera was there to capture it. Fairly fascinating to hear Adolf talk in a calm, conversational tone without spewing venom, and even more refreshing to endure no predictably prejudising Allied-oriented narration, even when things inexorably but slowly begin to take a darker turn in the last third of the film, and der Juden problem begins to emerge (to which a recently fled Einstein vaguely makes a public response).

Quite enlightening to just slowly take it in and in a measured manner comprehend for yourself what you're seeing; thank you, Mr. Mora, for that liberty. Released in the year 1973 (apparently causing something of a riot at its Cannes premiere), was banned im Deutschland for the next 36 for fear that seeing the human side of Hitler would de-demonize him. (The director followed up this effort with his first feature film, Mad Dog Morgan with Dennis Hopper.)

Among the special features (in the Australian version of the DVD, at least), the Leni Riefenstahl attack piece has received both praise and excoriation.
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