Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

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Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby hengcs » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:20 pm

Director: Dennis Gansel
Cast: Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling ...

In Bavarian Film Awards 2005, it won the Best Direction (Regiepreis) !

The English website is here ...
From Singapore ... www.lhp.com.sg/napola/
From US ... www.comingofagemovies.com...rethefall/

Hey, I am anticipating this film, are you?
Somehow, I think this is the only German film that I know from this year ... are there any others?
(strictly speaking, The Tunnel was from 2 years ago)

Hey A, do you think this will represent Germany for Oscar this year? Or are there better German films out there? Do recommend ...
hengcs
 


Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby A » Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:56 pm

The critical response to this film was very negative, and although i haven`t seen the film from what I`ve read heard and seen of it, it falls in the trap of falling victim to Nazi esthetics when it actualy tried to denounce them.
More of a mainstream movie though it wasn`t successful in theaters in Germany.
But maybe the critics are wrong and the film is worth watching. But don`t count on me, i won`t give it a try.

As for good recent German films, I don`t know any at the moment, I can only strongly advise you to keep away from the film "Allein" by Thomas Durchschlag, which is a horrible mess, although it garnered some awards and positive reviews.
If you`re interested in good German films, I`ll soon start a thread on new german films (of the past 10 years) where I`ll review some great films.
A
 

Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby moviolaGMBH » Sun Aug 28, 2005 6:22 pm

www.moviexclusive.com/rev...napola.htm

sgfilm.com/forum/viewtopi...11&start=0
moviolaGMBH
 

Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby trevor826 » Sun Aug 28, 2005 6:31 pm

I'm certainly weak on knowlege of German films from the last 10 years apart from a few well known ones so I'd be very interested if you start a thread up.

Cheers Trev.
trevor826
 

Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby A » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:58 pm

Sorry to say, that I`m busy at the moment, so it might take a while..., BUT it will come.
I think the films will be unknown, so I`ll also try to check out Video/DVD availability.
A
 

Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby hengcs » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:38 am

Director: Dennis Gansel
Cast: Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling ...

In Bavarian Film Awards 2005, it won the Best Direction (Regiepreis) !

What I like ...
-- Definitely the performance of Max Riemelt
-- The film also has some interesting drama ... ha ha ha
-- A very nice winter scene ...

What could be better ...
-- The title might mislead one into thinking the film is about how the training school will train and transform these kids ... However, in this aspect, it is less than compelling because too much is left for the audience to infer and assume ... Instead, the film revolves more around the relationship of Friedrich Weimer and Albrecht Stein and the latter's family ... Pardon me, but I do not exactly like the too obvious contrast scripted into Albrecht's family (i.e. the antagonistic son and the unloving parents) ... the "over" explanation of this relationship was made starker by the terse depiction of Friedrich Weimer's family, which appeared in the beginning of the film ... but it was at least less contrived ...
-- Oh no, I have an "overdose" of boxing films these few weeks ...

Conclusion:
I find the film watchable and not boring ... the performance of Max Riemelt is commendable. However, in terms of plot, the film does not have sufficient propelling power ...
hengcs
 

Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby howardschumann(d) » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:53 pm

BEFORE THE FALL (NaPolA)

Directed by Dennis Hansel (2004)

In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. Aeschylus

Involving rigorous physical activity and political indoctrination in total subservience to Hitler and his ideas of a German master race, Napolas (National-Political Institutes of Learning) were established with the purpose of training future political, business, and social leaders for the Thousand-Year Reich. In these schools, there was no room for debating opposing views or philosophical niceties like ends and means. The schools taught that only the strong survive. Anyone who showed any trace of independent thinking or sensitivity to human values were sadistically harassed and weeded out.

Based on the recollections of his grandfather, Dennis Gansels Before the Fall (Napola Elite fr den Fhrer) is a riveting coming of age story about the training of one such Nazi elite in the Germany of 1942. The work transcends its limitations as a genre film to tackle a more universal theme - the struggle between external ideals and matters of inner conscience. Like Igor, the idealistic teenager in Dardennes La Promesse, Friedrich Weimer (Max Riemelt), a Nordic-looking, working class boxer must deal with issues of conscience in an environment that is anathema to the assertion of human values.

Friedrich is only seventeen when he is approached after an amateur boxing match by a Nazi instructor at a Napola school. Seeking to salvage the athletic reputation of the school, he sees in Freidrich not only a boxing champion, but a blank slate that can be molded to fit the Nazi ideal. Friedrich, destined to follow his father as a factory laborer, sees the chance to both serve the fatherland and advance his own career and signs his own registration papers when his father refuses to agree. The boy is still very innocent but genuinely idealistic and possesses genuine warmth as shown in the scene in which he reassures his younger brother. Friederichs mind is open to the Nazi indoctrination not because he is without conscience but because he simply hasnt seen any reason to question the prevailing zeitgeist.

Freiderichs limited world experience suddenly expands, however, when he meets two other classmates: Siegfried Gladen (Martin Goeres), a boy who has a bed-wetting problem ruthlessly exploited as weakness by his fellow cadets and their sadistic teachers, and Albrecht Stein (Tom Schilling), the son of Heinrich Stein (Justus Vob Dohnanyi), a hateful Nazi governor. Albrecht who has the dangerous idea that people should consult their own conscience before blindly following orders is a boy of sensitivity and poetry, the embodiment perhaps of the true German spirit of Goethe and Heine. His father is revolted, however, by the boys perceived weakness and humiliates him by insisting that he and Freidrich engage in a very uneven boxing match when he invites his friend to his home.

Albrecht begins to question the merciless Nazi training after he sees Freidrich deliver a blow to the head of a fighter when he is already down. He also recoils in horror and speaks out publicly after the cadets are marched out into the forest to track down and murder allegedly escaped Russian POWs, in reality unarmed Jewish children. This incident results in a break in the relationship of the two boys and a sudden but predictable tragedy that leads to Freidrichs realization of the true nature of the Nazi barbarity. Before the Fall is more than an accounting of the Nazis disregard for human values, a fact already well-established. It is a more profound statement of how people need to be educated to think for themselves and take a stand for what they believe to be right. Impeccably directed and beautifully performed, Before the Fall is one of the most powerful and disturbing films of recent memory.

GRADE: A-
howardschumann(d)
 

Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby hengcs » Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:52 am

wow ...
I am glad you like the film too ...
hengcs
 

Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby howardschumann(d) » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:00 pm

Loved it. By the way, I have read that the Russian POWs were in fact Jewish children. Did you see any Star of David or yellow arm bands on them to identify them as Jewish? How were they identified as Jewish children by the critics?
howardschumann(d)
 

Re: Napola - Hitler's Elite (aka Before The Fall) (2004) (Germany)

Postby hengcs » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:07 am

So sorry ... I have watched it too long ago ...
I might need to watch a second time to recall ...
hengcs
 


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