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"Hitler: The Rise of Evil" miniseries

History-World Hitler Media TV

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#1 Christopher

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Posted 20 May 2003 - 04:00 AM

What do people think of the Hitler miniseries so far?  Is it basically accurate?  Is it suitably informative?  Is it slanted?

I find it quite telegraphic, especially in the early portions.  Too much was covered very superficially, a very cursory treatment of what shaped the young Hitler.  And of course no historical drama is ever going to be a comprehensive analysis by a historian's standards.  But such things can be useful, can provide a sense of the emotions and dynamics of a place and time that can be hard to convey any other way.  Something like this can be a good companion work to books on the subject.

I wish CBS still did their "Read More About It" things at the end of movies and miniseries like this.  They did provide a link to their website, suggesting there's supplementary material there, but having some specific book recommendations on the air would've still been nice.
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#2 StarDust

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Posted 20 May 2003 - 06:48 AM

On one level I found it fascinating, on another it was real creepy.  So I kept going back and forth, not able to stay away but not able to watch it straight through.

Probably should have taped it.

#3 Christopher

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 05:07 AM

Didn't anyone else watch this?  C'mon, so far this forum is almost all politics and current events, and very little history.

I've heard people express concern that the miniseries might've "glorified" Hitler.  I think it hardly did that -- but some might feel that it was unflattering in its portrayal of the Germans.  It served as a reminder that Hitler didn't do it all himself -- he came to power because he was able to tap into the resentment and bitterness that already existed, to channel and amplify it.  Although of course he was a master manipulator and propagandist.

What I found surprising is how easy it was for a party within the Reichstag to force new elections just by refusing to participate, by walking out.  That strikes me as a badly designed system.  Could that be part of why inter-war (interbellum??) German democracy failed?  Because it wasn't well enough designed to begin with?
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#4 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 05:27 AM

Sorry, I didn't watch it...

From the promos I saw it felt too much like entertainment intended to be "good" for you while retaining all the prurient interest they could to drum up numbers.

Ro

#5 Talkie Toaster

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 05:56 AM

The first I heard of the mini-series was after it had been aired. :/

Pity, it looked quite interesting. From what I've heard it did a great job at chronicling the events of the Putsch; but a less sterling job at getting us to know Hitler as a person. Given the current political climate, however, I'm not suprised about the latter.
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#6 tennyson

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 06:02 AM

Sorry, I just didn't have time to watch it.
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#7 Christopher

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 07:23 AM

Talkie Toaster, on May 21 2003, 03:03 PM, said:

From what I've heard it did a great job at chronicling the events of the Putsch; but a less sterling job at getting us to know Hitler as a person.
Well, getting to know him too well would've been too disturbing, I think.  Robert Carlyle did a good job of playing him as a basically antisocial figure, cold and detached, rarely making eye contact with people; and as an unstable figure who could put on a facade of reason and sociability (something he got better at over the years) but could erupt into rage and viciousness.  Also as a hypocrite and a liar, never hesitating to twist the facts to suit his ends (like in the WWI trenches, telling his Jewish superior officer that he'd always stood up for "your people," after we'd seen him spewing anti-Semitism among the troops).  Matthew Modine's character, Fritz Gerlich or something like that, was impressed by his rhetoric until he met the man face-to-face and saw what a madman he was.  That's important, I think.  Hitler built an appealing facade and not many could see what was underneath.  Just as his propaganda seemed appealing on the surface so long as you didn't think about it much or search for the actual facts.

I think the miniseries portrayed Hitler more clearly than most of the other figures around him.  The whole thing went by so fast that it was hard to get a sense of who many of the players were.  There were some that I don't think were even named onscreen, but who seemed important.
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

"The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." -- "H. G. Wells," Time After Time


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