tue 07/07/2020

Nazis

Return to Belsen, ITV review - Jonathan Dimbleby retraces his father's journey to a nightmare world

When the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany was liberated by the British 11th Armoured Division on 15 April 1945, the BBC’s reporter Richard Dimbleby was there to record the occasion. It was Dimbleby’s report for BBC...

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Confronting Holocaust Denial with David Baddiel, BBC Two review - grappling with the incomprehensible

It’s all in the timing. Here was David Baddiel beginning a stand-up turn at a gig in Finchley. A Holocaust survivor gets to heaven, and God asks for a Holocaust joke. God says that his joke isn't funny, and the survivor replies “Well, I guess you...

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Jojo Rabbit review - a risky balancing act

Just as Joker was the most divisive film of 2019, so Jojo Rabbit may take the mantle for the early months of 2020. The issue is not that director Taika Waititi is making a comedy about the Nazis – plenty of filmmakers have done that, from...

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The Man Who Saw Too Much, BBC One review – death camp in the clouds

Boris Pahor is the oldest known survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. In this program, the 106-year-old recounts his experiences as a political refugee and prisoner to the Nazis during their rule in his native Slovenia. As a study of one...

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Youth Without God, Coronet Theatre review - the chill control of nascent Nazism

The only novel by the Hungarian dramatist Ödön von Horváth, Youth Without God was written in exile after he fled Anschluss Vienna and published in 1938, shortly before his death. In the English-speaking world, we know von Horváth for his plays,...

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Blu-ray: Lords of Chaos

“All this evil and dark crap was supposed to be fun,” complains exasperated Norwegian black metal overlord Euronymous, played by Rory Culkin, as his world spirals out of control in a cataclysm of murder, suicide and church burnings. The true events...

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Never Look Away review - the healing potential of art

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who made his reputation as a leading German film-maker with The Lives of Others (2006), told the New Yorker that his latest film sprang out of a desire to explore the relationship between making art and healing....

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Brundibár, Welsh National Opera review - bittersweet children's opera from the ghetto

Politics, in case you may not have noticed, has been in the air of late: questions of escape, release, borders, refugees, things like that. So WNO’s June season of operas about freedom has been suspiciously well timed. We’ve had the dead man walking...

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Vasily Grossman: Stalingrad review - a Soviet national epic

Stalingrad is the companion piece to Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, which on its (re)publication in English a decade ago was acclaimed as one of the greatest Russian (and not only Russian) novels of the 20th century. For its sense of the sheer...

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Blu-ray: The Night of the Generals

Anatole Litvak’s The Night of the Generals (1967), beautifully restored here to 4K, is a tortuous and at times entertaining mash-up of the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler and the murder of a prostitute in Nazi-occupied Warsaw a few years earlier....

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A German Life, Bridge Theatre review - Maggie Smith triumphs again

Maggie Smith is not only a national treasure, but every casting director's go-to old bat. Now 84 years young, she is our favourite grande dame, or fantasy grandma. With an acting career of nearly 70 years, an instantly recognisable face and voice,...

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Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on playing Hitler

There is nothing quite like the Iffland-Ring in this country. The property of the Austrian state, for two centuries it has been awarded to the most important German-speaking actor of the age, who after a suitable period nominates his successor and...

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