In this new part of the Apocalypse documentary series, Isabelle Clarke and Daniel Costelle tackle the period 1943-1945 and the slow decay of the Third Reich. By using exclusively archival images and a few animated maps, they show the evolution of the fighting, the German setbacks, but above all behind the scenes of command and Hitler’s determination to accomplish what he called ” his earthly mission.
All the sequences have been colorized, which gives substance to the historical figures. By coming to life in this way, they all seem extraordinarily close, Goebbels, Himmler, Eichmann, Göring, Mussolini and his carnivorous smile. Or even Hitler, filmed playing with his dog in front of a snowy chalet or stroking a child’s cheek.
By a skilful art of contrast, the scenes of life at the front where the men survive in the mud and have nothing to wash themselves except snow, are juxtaposed with those where Nazi sympathizers indulge in festive celebrations and feast on orgiastic meals. Some images, sometimes very raw, show hangings or suicides, as well as the barbarity discovered when the camps opened.
A complicit resignation
A historical commentary, read in a serious tone by Mathieu Kassovitz, accompanies these images. It is punctuated with quotations, such as this chilling observation left by one of the Führer’s personal secretaries: “The death of a man left him indifferent”. Or this one, which reveals the terrible resignation of Eva Braun, Hitler’s companion: “Isn’t it better that I don’t know what’s going on, all things considered I can’t change anything about it. »
Thus the documentary, while making the story very concrete, reminds us that it was the choice of women and men accomplices.
Leave a Reply