Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Nazi Titanic movie

Browsing through my cable tv schedule this past week, I ran across many Titanic documentaries. None of them caught my attention. But when I saw something called "Nazi Titanic", my WTF meter went crazy. Well, it turned out to be a pretty interesting documentary.

The Nazis did create a movie about the Titanic. They started the movie at the start of the war and they saw it as a chance to create propaganda, to portray the ship's tragedy as a symbol of everything wrong with English society. To show how Great Britain's greed and belief in its leaders create a disaster.

Well, the movie took years to make. The director committed suicide or was killed by Nazis, after making disparaging comments about the regime. And the movie took so long to make that it was finished in 1945, when, ironically, the Titanic metaphor seemed more like one in which the ship was Germany and the foolish captain was Hitler driving everybody to disaster. After spending the equivalent of of today's $130 million, the movie was never shown in Germany.

The History Channel documentary is 2 hours long. And it could have been so much shorter. But that is usually the case with History Channel presentations. To stretch it, the filmmakers suddenly start presenting background material about WWII, in case one doesn't know who was fighting who. And it is pretty annoying that every time the program comes back from a commercial break, there is a 45 second recap of what has been shown before.

Still, it was worth it. I had no idea such a movie existed. And as a movie fan, it made for interesting viewing.

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