on 30 March 2013
I really enjoyed..if that's quite the right sentiment(given the subject material-the holocaust).
It seems that Eichmann escaped the original Nuremberg trials ..which saw many leading Nazis
go to their deaths..except goerring..who committed suicide..via a cyanide tab which someone slipped him.
But fate eventually caught up with Eichmann years later ..when he finally was answerable to his part in the
Nazi extermination of the Jews..which saw 5 million and probably many more people go to their deaths,in the
A very good, if very thought provoking,and slightly disturbing film.
Throughout the film you gradually learn more about Eichmann and piece his personality together. In Hannah Arendt's book "Banality of Evil" he just appeared devoid of a personality; inhabiting an autistic world. As he radiates himself within the film, he appears both detached and a necessary sadist, but someone lacking the overall glee.
Set in Israel in the early 1960's, the film portrays the high voltage tension within the state, as it gradually comes to term with the millions of occurrences arising from 20 years earlier. The wounds are open and still fresh; perhaps they have never healed.
How do you replace and account for so much tragedy?
Based on the perceptions of the prosecutor, the film follows his emotional torments. Trying to uphold "justice" and being seen to do the right thing, but trapped in his own vicarious trauma, and so he wrestles forever internally,
The use of Stephen Fry was slightly jarring. Presumably he was put in place for international recognition but personally I would have preferred it if he was not there. I wanted to be immersed in Israel not lite TV entertainment, hence the loss of a star.
Within the main structure, the interrogation switches to numerous flashbacks and this added the depth to the film. If you piece them altogether, the weird disturbing nature of national socialism comes through the shutters in a dark unfiltered light.
The years 1932-1945 were not anomalies, but a reflection of one facet of humanity; its lack of empathy. The scale of the killing becomes too big to contemplate, so breaking it down into bite sized chunks, the idea that wiping out half a million children then suddenly becomes disturbing. It makes you wonder how Blair sleeps?
On top of these figures are the half a million gypsies and then add the numerous micro incidents, each rising up from the dead, the scale of atrocities are far too immense to bring to justice. After 1945 Eichmann was previously buried in the shadows. Emerging as the man who operated the trains and planned the logistics, he was not the man who dropped the gas, but the chap who made everything tick tock. Eichmann was the model bureaucrat, the town planner, the logistics man.
With a former Jewish lover he claimed to have no race hatred, forever obeying orders from above. He had good reason to be cocky, as many former Nazis had been set free. In some cases they were given their old jobs back by the Allies see Von Verschuer (Mengele's boss). Eichmann felt confident, despite being caught that he could beat the drop.
The Israelis had to make the case stick beyond doubt, after all, the USA their main backers had employed many of the Nazis for counter communist work - see MK ultra and Klaus Barbie. Israel had kidnapped Eichmann in contrary of international law and brought him back for a trial, to satiate internal desires for recompense, something their American masters were wary of proceeding with.
If this was 1945, Eichmann would have been shot dead and no questions asked, but the longer the Cold War dragged on, the more the former enemies were seen as allies. The film reflects the interrogation records. It operates as a duel between prosecution and Eichmann to gain a confession. It took months of playing cat and mouse, gradually wearing him down to the point where a prosecution would stick. It needed to fend off American credulity and this is the point of the film.
Shot in a sepia colour, it is less than romantic, laced with some erotica based upon a sexual thrill, one of the participants of the holocaust. Mostly it details his sense of immunity, locked within a grandiose prism of nihilism with an overarching flow of power at his disposal. With this power he and like minded other recreated their childhood angst on a grand scale. Their actions were culled from the tales of Grimm except with no boundaries. See Pied Piper of Hamlin, Hansel and Gretel. Each operated to corral an internal nihilism, oozing race, blood and soil.
An eye opener for many reasons, but each can find their own rationale within.
on 2 May 2014
Given the potentially interesting subject matter, (Eichmann kidnapped in Argentina and placed on trial in Israel), it was surprising just how dull this film really was.
Stephen Fry gives a truly embarrassing performance managing to combine a ham-acted Israeli accent with elements of posh English often within the same sentence.
on 1 January 2016
I have to admit I was disappointed with this portrayal of Adolf Eichmann. The acting was good, but having just watched the film ' Operation Daybreak' for the fourth time, I wanted to find out more about the life of this German, his character, and rise to power. I did not feel the this film covered the detail of his life in the format I would have been more interested in. This was more to do with his interrogation and subsequent trial when he was eventually captured. I thought he was actually killed in Prague??