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Old Today, 09:23 AM   #1251
Huntn
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Originally Posted by Scepticalscribe View Post
They were individuals who - in some cases - held pretty high rank in the police or military, were, some of them, fairly close to retirement, but others were in their 30s, or 40s, or 50s, - and whose parents would have been alive (and serving, in some instances) during the war. Obviously, they would have been born post WW2, but with parents, (or grandparents) who had served, so family lore also informed their opinions.

These were bar conversations, late at night, close to closing time, with slow and deep and thoughtful conversation, and they were critiquing details, the old 'it was worse than that, in reality' sort of critique, and thought some of the stories were a little too pat and neat (but that is movie or TV story telling).

By contrast, these guys all loved 'Das Boot' which they thought a superb portrayal of war, and an outstanding German production. In fact, at least two of them informed me that 'Das Boot' was their all time very favourite movie (or TV series, as it was both).
My rambling reply...
My observation is when it comes to telling a coherent war story that an audience can stand to sit though, some liberties must be taken to keep it from becoming just a rambling series of images. That's the filmmaker's job (as you know). Unbroken was 2hr 20min, but it felt longer than that. I did not need to see that much suffering to get the idea. Now that was a "they survived" and specifically "I'm tough enough to take your abuse" pow film, but honestly I have limited tolerance to watch just a "they survived" story. The individual portrayed in Unbroken was inspirational although the telling was a little flat imo. While it might just be Hollywood, I really enjoyed the plots of The Great Escape, Bridge Over The River Kwai and Stalag 17. An overriding plot in the setting makes these stories pop, not just surviving.That can be the problem, sometimes complete realism is boring.

... Except for combat which ideally is, but not necessarily coherent. For examples of realistic and/or surreal combat environments from an individual perspective, I'd say it was the Normandy invasion portion of Saving Private Ryan, the climactic firefight in Platoon, the Vietnam portion of Forrest Gump and even the crazyness of Apocalypse Now. If a battle is being scripted, to some degree it helps if it makes sense to the audience. In Generation War the focus was on these individuals, interpersonal relationships, and although the combat scenarios while limited, they were good enough to advance the story. The push into (Kursk?) was good, city fighting the Russians to take a telegraph station.

I'm sure that many Germans suffered immediately after cessation of hostilities, but this was not addressed specifically in this film. At this point the story was being wrapped up. Suffering due to weather and lack of supplies on the Western front was touched on, but the misery not dwelled on. I was ok with that. I do imagine a generation emerging from WWII suffering from PTSD.

I can remember scenes, but don't remember if I've seen Das Boot in its entirety. Maybe I'll watch it again.
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Last edited by Huntn; Today at 09:37 AM. Reason: Grammar
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Old Today, 09:34 AM   #1252
vrDrew
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Although brief, I thought I had! Excellent! One viewer review said it was based on a true story.
It was a totally fictional story. In some respects, the way they handled the final scene, with subtitles showing the years in which the surviving characters "died" postwar may have led to that misconception.

In many respects, it is almost impossible for any German-made movie or television series to deal with the war years in a way that satisfies everybody. Generation War (a rather clumsy translation of Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter) received loud criticism from groups who felt it was wrong to show Germans being, in any way, victims of the Nazi era.

Overall I thought the production was quite good. A couple of glaring inaccuracies marred the story for me a little: German Army regulations (like those of armies everywhere) would have quite prohibited two brothers to serve in the same platoon. And (grisly as it sounds) German civilian executions usually involved decapitation via a guillotine, rather than firing squads - which were reserved for military crimes.

Those quibbles aside, Generation War is well worth the time of anyone interested in the history of the era from a German perspective.

In some respects, the best part of the production is the way it shows how widespread was the knowledge among the broader German population and military of the crimes of the Nazi state. When all your Jewish neighbors are taken away someplace, and are never heard from again, it takes a willful act of self-deception not to know that something very bad is being done.
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Old Today, 10:07 AM   #1253
Huntn
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Originally Posted by vrDrew View Post
It was a totally fictional story. In some respects, the way they handled the final scene, with subtitles showing the years in which the surviving characters "died" postwar may have led to that misconception.

In many respects, it is almost impossible for any German-made movie or television series to deal with the war years in a way that satisfies everybody. Generation War (a rather clumsy translation of Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter) received loud criticism from groups who felt it was wrong to show Germans being, in any way, victims of the Nazi era.

Overall I thought the production was quite good. A couple of glaring inaccuracies marred the story for me a little: German Army regulations (like those of armies everywhere) would have quite prohibited two brothers to serve in the same platoon. And (grisly as it sounds) German civilian executions usually involved decapitation via a guillotine, rather than firing squads - which were reserved for military crimes.

Those quibbles aside, Generation War is well worth the time of anyone interested in the history of the era from a German perspective.

In some respects, the best part of the production is the way it shows how widespread was the knowledge among the broader German population and military of the crimes of the Nazi state. When all your Jewish neighbors are taken away someplace, and are never heard from again, it takes a willful act of self-deception not to know that something very bad is being done.
Thanks for the clarification. I thought it was fictional, but after seeing the comment was uncertain.

A scene where a German lady says, "They didn't even clean before leaving". I have to judge based on historical recounting and that depends on who is doing the recounting and my judgement of their motivation- honest or self serving? This is not making excuses for the Germans, however I can believe that some/many Germans knew Jews were being rounded up, and told themselves they were just being relocated/deported. Refusing to face reality? I can see that argument. When a society removes a group's humanity and makes them scapegoats for everything that is wrong, you have the leaders, the sheep who follow, and those too scared to stand up for their convictions.

Besides the perpetrators of the Nazi movement, I believe the German populace suffered on account of Nazism, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. My impression is that if you were a German who was vocally against the plan, you were going to be abused by the Gestapo. It was portrayed that disagreement and "defeatism" were punishable by incarceration and execution. I'm not implying that you are, but I won't condem the entire nation, as I don't condem Japan. In the circle of life, Internationally, friends become enemies, then friends, then enemies. The best we can do is try to understand what motivates human beings to turn into monsters and work towards solving our differences using means other than war. So far, no real success, on that front, but I'll leave that for PRSI.
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