Archive for September, 2011

Title: Брестская Крепость (The Brest Fortress)
Director: Alexander Kott

The Red Army’s defense of the Brest Fortress against the Nazis in June-July 1941 is one of the most resonant episodes of the Great Patriotic War. The legend about the feat of the defenders of the fortress—the Citadel on the Bug, as it is often called—emerged during the Khrushchev Thaw. The myth about the fearless warriors, who fought Hitler’s army deep in the enemy’s rear for almost a month was formed in the mid 1960s, after the publication of a book by the Moscow journalist Sergei Smirnov (the father & grandfather respectively of filmmaker Andrei Smirnov & Dunia Smirnova). In the 1970s, at the suggestion of the First Secretary of the Belarus Communist Party, Peter Masherov, the Brest Fortress became the ideological & tourist brand for Belarus, as well as an occasion for the propaganda of Soviet internationalism: the garrison at the Fortress had included a dozen nationalities of the USSR. For the authorities of modern Belarus, the history of the Brest Fortress & its defenders is, above all, an example of the “fraternal attitudes” to allied Russia. It is no wonder that this well-known plot was chosen for the first film project of the Television & Radio Organization (TRO) of the Union state.

The film project was preceded by a documentary film of the same title, made by TRO a year before the beginning of the feature film. According to scriptwriter Konstantin Vorob’ev, it was the success of the television screenings of the documentary that pushed the management of TRO into the direction of a live-action film for the silver screen. The film-project The Brest Fortress was financed from the budget of the Allied State of Russia & Belarus at a ratio of 60 & 40 percent respectively, with an overall budget of approximately $7 million. The ideological inspiration for the film came from the former television comedian & now head of TRO, Igor’ Ugol’nikov, who emphasized from the very beginning the public importance of the project. The Brest Fortress should tell the young generation of Russians & Belorusians “the truth about the war”, which has been deformed in recent narratives. In particular, young men should know that the main contribution to the victory over Nazism came from the USSR.

Film review written by Anton Sidorenko

1944. As the war in Europe continues to take its toll on Allied forces, the Pentagon brass has no recourse but to consider unorthodox options, including the untried & untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down & shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. Against all the odds, with something to prove & everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country 7 the fate of the free world.

As written on the Red Tails Facebook Page

Title: Education for Death: The Making of A Nazi
Writer: Gregor Ziemer

During World War II, Walt Disney entered into a contract with the US government to develop 32 animated shorts. Nearly bankrupted by Fantasia (1940), Disney needed to refill its coffers, & making American propaganda films didn’t seem like a bad way to do it. On numerous occasions, Donald Duck was called upon to deliver moral messages to domestic audiences (see The Spirit of ’43 & Der Führer’s Face). But that wasn’t the case with Education for Death: The Making of Nazi, a film shown in US movie theaters in 1943.

Based on a book written by Gregor Ziemer, this animated short used a different lineup of characters to show how the Nazi Party turned innocent youth into Hitler’s corrupted children. Unlike other topics addressed in Disney war films (e.g. taxes & the draft), this theme, the cultivation of young minds, hit awfully close to home. & it’s perhaps why it’s one of Disney’s better wartime films.

As written on Spiegel Online

Title: Dark Fellowships: The Vril
Director: Matthew Bennett

Uncover the truth surrounding one of the most renowned & feared organizations in the world, the Vril Society. This compelling documentary explores conspiracy theories, retraces historical events, investigates internal agendas & uncovers macabre rituals.

Profiling prominent & often famous members, alleged to include many of the Nazi Party elite, including Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler, & even Adolf Hitler, the program reveals information that the most clandestine of secret societies want to remain secret.

Legend has it that the original members of the society believed they could live under the earth & fly to far away stars powered by a mysterious substance called Vril. They also believed that one day they would rule the world. This dangerous group existed at the core of the Nazi Party, & like many dark fellowships, remnants of the group still exist today, almost 100 years after its founding.

In this special, viewers will discover what occult rites were performed by the organization in their dark lust for ultimate power.

Written by Matthew Bennett

Title Das Drama Von Dresden, A Documentary
Director: Sebastian Dehnhardt
Awards: International Emmy (2005) & the Magnolia Award (2006)

The baroque city of Dresden, known as the Florence of the Elb because of its magnificent buildings, was one of the few German cities to have been largely spared Allied bombing during the Second World War, but in just 24 hours the city was reduced to rubble. At least 25,000 people suffered agonizing deaths in the fire-storms which swept the city. The film provides a dramatic account of these tragic events, from the perspective of both the inhabitants of Dresden & also the British bomber pilots who mounted the air raid on the city. They were all part of a tragedy which left nobody victorious.

As described on Broadview TV

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY Georg Bönisch PUBLISHED ON Spiegel Online

The site for the assassination was carefully chosen at a point where a steeply sloping street in Prague’s Libe district made a hairpin turn, forcing approaching cars to slow down considerably. This is precisely what the driver of a heavy convertible Mercedes did as his vehicle climbed toward the curve at approximately 10:30AM on May 27, 1942.

Behind the driver sat his boss, one of Adolf Hitler’s most devoted followers. The man was a veritable Aryan poster boy, tall, blonde & blue-eyed, the ideal image of an SS leader. He was also the person whom one British officer referred to as the “mastermind.”

That man was none other than Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), the body charged with fighting all “enemies of the Reich” within & outside German borders, & one of the principle organizers of the Holocaust. Just months earlier, he had chaired the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, during which plans for the murder of what would turn out to be approximately 6 million people were discussed.

At the same time, another one of Heydrich’s official positions was that of deputy protector of Bohemia & Moravia, two regions in today’s Czech Republic, where he ruled with an iron fist. In the weeks after he arrived there in 1941, Heydrich ordered more than 400 people killed because he needed his “quiet space.” [Read more]

The War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin, is a BBC documentary film series that examines Adolf Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and the “no holds barred” war on both sides. It not only examines the war but also the terror inside the Soviet Union at the time due to the paranoia of Joseph Stalin – the revenge atrocities, the purge of the armed forces, the near-lunacy orders, & the paranoia of being upstaged by others, especially Marshal Zhukov. The historical adviser is Prof. Ian Kershaw.