Nazis in popular film


Nazism is a popular subject for all film producers. Some like the film to be graphical representation, whereas other producers prefer to show Nazis in a slightly comical light. I will be writing about these four films; The Lion King, Schindler’s List, Triumph of the Will and Caboret, and how the directors use camera angles to portray people in different ways.


Triumph of the Will was a pro-Nazi film. Directed by Leni Riefenstahl in 1934, it shows Hitler in a way that few films rarely show: kindness. He is waving to the crowd, smiling, and shaking hands with ordinary members of the public, which is very different from the Hitler portrayed in many other films; violent, angry, spitting, and always issuing commands. As the film opens, Hitler is flying in a plane. S the camera flies with him, the clouds give a sense of eternity, thus giving the impression that the Nazi party will go on forever. As the plane descends from the clouds, you can see the shadow of the plane gliding over the streets below. This shadow represents an eagle, which is the top predator of the food chain, and is superior to other beings.


This is a type of symbolism used to represent the power of the Nazi party. Another use of symbolism is the insignia and flags. Apart from the circle around the swastika, the rest of the Nazi insignia and flags are in straight lines. This has some relevance to the Romans, as they used to march in straight lines and had the eagle as a symbol. This is how the crowds are arranged along the sides of the streets. When Hitler stands on the balcony, the crowd cheers and starts chanting showing his immense popularity as the ‘people’s man’. This reminds the audience about the work Hitler has done to make Germany a great power.


The music, along with the camera shots, play an important part in this scene. At the beginning, the music is stirring with passion and pride, giving the audience the feeling that something historical is about to happen, and that they will be a part of it. As the plane descends and lands, a militaristic march comes into play, giving a sense of anticipation. When Hitler steps out of the plane, the music is louder, and close-ups of smiling children are given. When he is being driven to his hotel, the music tones down, becoming almost romantic, implying the Germany’s love for Hitler. As Hitler ascends towards the balcony, the music becomes intense with anticipation. When he reaches the balcony and waves, there is a great clash of music and cheering.


Camera angles are used throughout this scene, and they are mostly from Hitler’s point of view; looking up at buildings and people, showing how great Germany is, and how he is above everyone else. There are also shots of children with blonde hair and blue eyes and crowds in straight lines. The children represent the pure race in which Hitler believed in and the crowds synchronizing the Roman army’s discipline towards its generals.


During the Nazis time in WW2 Germany, many Jews, as well as other nationalities, were unaware of the full ferocity, brutality and determination of the party.


Schindler’s list was directed by Steven Spielberg in 1993. The liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto was possibly one of the worst acts against Jews during the war. In this part of the film, Jews, who flourished here for over six centuries, were evicted from their homes, and were separated to be sent away to the Ghetto. The beginning of this scene is surprisingly normal for a Nazi film – two men (Goeth and Schindler) were shaving and getting dressed. In the background, Goeth’s voice is harsh as he speaks to his army and talks about the eradication of the Jewish population from the Ghetto. They are the same men at the beginning, sharing their hatred of Jews, but, at the end, they are two different men, because Schinder sees the suffering that the Jews go through.


As Schindler is dressing and looking out window, Goeth’s voice is heard addressing his soldiers. He talks coldly of eliminating Jews from the Ghetto, but triumphantly when he talks about destroying the