The Unknown Soldier

The Unknown Soldier

The Unknown Soldier

  Michael Verhoeven’s film had originated in March 1997, when he fell by accident into a gathering of neo-Nazis in the Munich city hall to the exhibition “Crimes of the Wehrmacht – the dimensions of the destruction of war 1941-1944″. Shown between March 1995 and November 1999, the much-discussed exhibition, which was initiated by the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, in 33 cities of Germany and Austria, sometimes violent protests by right-wing, in Saarbrucken, it may even a bomb attack in conjunction with the exhibition. In addition to the politically motivated protests, there was also a discussion about the accuracy of historical facts. For example, two Eastern European historians pointed to errors in the assignment of the images, their claims to most of the images was inadequate to support the main thesis of the exhibition. In response, the issue was withdrawn and examined in detail by historians of a commission, which, however, classified only 20 of more than 1400 images as incorrect. Nevertheless, the exhibition has been redesigned and could only be re-visited by the public as from November 2001. 2004, finally closed the exhibition and has since been housed in the magazine of the German Historical Museum in Berlin. But the new concept met with fierce resistance, but this time from another side: Critics have talked about the defusing and dilution of the theories and speculate about whether the exhibition organizers do not have the pressure of the right-wing bent.

Michael Verhoeven has his films are never easy – both The Nasty Girl (1990) as well as The White Rose (1981/82) dealt with the issue of lack of processing of the Nazis and provoked in them. By The Unknown Soldier Verhoeven returns to this attitude and warned that a culture of remembrance, which does not seem to quite fit into the neoliberal zeitgeist. With the curiosity of an incorruptible artist Verhoeven are no answers, but asks questions, after drilling, further research yourself. With supreme confidence Verhoeven dedicated to a variety of issues that bind together both the historical facts as well as the refurbishment of the exhibitions and the reactions of visitors, creators and opponents of a successful and worthwhile document against forgetting. A valiant and courageous film that adheres well to the cinema for a long time and ensures that the past is not forgotten.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: The Unknown Soldier Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2006 Length: 100 (Min) of material: Kinowelt Film Distribution

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