Hitler's Hollywood: German Nazi era Films

In his documentary film Hitler's Hollywood, filmmaker Rudiger Suchsland suggests that the Third Reich was essentially an immersive movie starring the German nation, produced and directed by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. The Nazis produced more than 1000 films from 1933-1945: musicals, melodramas, romances, costume dramas, and war films; when the real war got tough, they distracted the people with insanely lavish, over-the-top fantasies. Nazi films portray the German volk as happy and sporty with lives of exaggerated cheerfulness or, conversely, full of morbid yearning for a death that would serve the Fatherland. Suchsland makes the claim that Nazi Germany had a single auteur: Joseph Goebbels. Hitler's Minister of Propaganda was the consummate master of totalitarian thought control. He was in charge of radio, propaganda, and all branches of the arts. He exercised complete control over the production of German movies, right down to the particulars of scripts and casting. Goebbels understood better than anyone what philosopher Hannah Arendt explained: "One of the chief characteristics of modern masses (is) they do not trust their eyes and ears, but only their imaginations. What convinces masses are not facts, not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the illusion." After viewing and discussing Suchsland's documentary, selected films featured in Hitler's Hollywood will be screened.

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