- Directors: Enrique Sanchez Lansch
- Format: Anamorphic, Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Language: German
- Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: Exempt
- Studio: Arthaus
- DVD Release Date: 28 Jan. 2008
- Run Time: 90 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0012K53UO
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,091 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Other Sellers on Amazon
The Reichsorchester [DVD] 
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a service Amazon offers sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's warehouses, and Amazon directly does the picking, packing, shipping and customer service on these items. Something Amazon hopes you'll especially enjoy: FBA items are eligible for and for Amazon Prime just as if they were Amazon items.
If you're a seller, you can increase your sales significantly by using Fulfilment by Amazon. We invite you to learn more about this programme .
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who bought this item also bought
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Enrique Sanchez Lansch directs this documentary that examines the history of the Berlin Philharmonic during the years 1933-1945. Using archive material alongside testimony from witnesses present at the time, the film seeks to shine a light on the members of the orchestra itself, charting their destinies, and examining the role they played in Nazi Germany's propaganda machine.
... magnificent ...sensitive and impressive ... clever and wise.--Die Welt
There is no better explanation of how a nation of poets and thinkers was capable of the Holocaust.--El Pais
The film is a tour de force of archival and fresh material, the many freshly filmed contributions from original members and their descendants encapsulating and throwing continual fresh light on this controversial period. Essential viewing. --Julian Haylock, International Record Review
Top customer reviews
The story is told through the testimony of the last 2 surviving musicians, violinist Hans Bastiaan and double-bassist Erich Hartmann, and the sons and daughters of various others. Aside from the interviews there is footage of the orchestra in action, which can at times make very uncomfortable viewing - it's hard to enjoy Beethoven's 9th when the concert hall is decorated with swastikas and people such as Himmler are in the audience. What makes the film so good is the clearly focused and essentially dispassionate tone taken by director Enrique Sanchez Lansch. This is solely about the orchestra - the horrors of the war are seen only in the context of what the musicians experienced. The Holocaust is only glimpsed - for example, Bastiaan says that his violin came from the orchestra's collection but he never thought about who its previous owner may have been, or the son of another musician recalls how as a child he was baffled by hearing his father say that such-and-such was in a "concert camp". So there is no judgment, and the viewer is left to make up his or her own mind on what the musicians should or should not have done. In fact as the story progresses into the last days of the war it takes on something of a redemptive quality: with the closure of all Berlin's concert halls in September 1944, only the Philharmonic kept going, and the orchestra's role changed from mere propaganda tool to, as it were, comforter of a doomed city. "You wanted to live on through this imperishable music", as Bastiaan puts it; there's a moving scene where he revisits the ruins of the Olympic Village, site of one of the last concerts when it was now filled with wounded soldiers - and we hear Beethoven again, the slow movement of the 5th symphony, and this time there's no bad taste in the mouth, just beauty. The Berliners played almost to the end - their last concert was April 14th, just 2 days before the Red Army began the final assault on the city. The end of the war isn't quite the end of the story - there is the process of recovery and denazification - and the first concert after the war, of course, began with Mendelssohn.
This is an important documentary, not just for people interested in the orchestra or classical music in general (the bonus feature is a full performance of the Meistersinger prelude from 1942, Furtwangler conducting) but for anyone who wishes to understand something of how ordinary Germans could have let the Nazi madness last as long as it did.
The originality of this documentary is that it focus not on the conductor, but rather on the orchestra (Berliner Philharmoniker) itself.
And the result is that you get confused. Make no mistake: Enrique Sanchez Lansch work is very good throughout and you get a lot to think about (you certainly will want to repeat it at least once). But what you don't get is any help to make a judgement. You have to do so all by yourself and this is one of the biggest merits of this DVD.
So why not five stars? Well... it could never receive five stars, you know. As it is stated on the leaflet, this film should have been produced long ago. At time it was made only two wartime musicians remained alive. Their contribution was certainly revealing (Bastiaan was in his nineties!), but you would expect more.
Nevertheless this is a unique documentary. A must-have for all those interested on the Third Reich and classical music.