The Double Headed Eagle
Time Out saysA documentary in which Becker uses contemporary footage, some of it extremely rare, to trace the rise of the Nazis up to Hitler's first speech as Chancellor in 1933. As a study it's anthropological rather than historical, discarding the tortuous intrigues of the scrabble for power in favour of a broader survey that shows the tacit acquiescence of a people. The film is best on gradual development: the transformation of the ill-kempt party gatherings, watched by a few amused villagers, into the half-baked symbolism and phrase-mongering of the mass rallies. It also implies that against such a background, moral stands were not as easy as we might assume. Einstein and Thomas Mann slip away, supposedly for their holidays, leaving the club-foot dwarf Goebbels to tell the nation that one day patience towards the Jew will come to an end. A chilling moment.