Often the power of cinema is to educate. The film Good gives us an interesting historical perspective on what it was like living in Nazi Germany in the 1930's leading up to the Second World War. If one ever wonders how a large nation like Germany could have been seduced by the Nazi ideology, this film gives a little clue. Becoming a totalitarian society, it was becoming increasingly clear that membership in the Nazi party was the way to get ahead in its society and avoid persecution. You can see the powerful conformity in thought and behaviors that was becoming pervasive in Germany, in which any kind of public or even private dissent was punished severely. Fear and even terror existed amongst the population. Hence, the old saying goes something like this, "The triumph of evil is when good people remain silent."
Viggo Mortensen gives another great performance, this time playing a university professor who in the early thirties writes a novel about the need for euthanasia and mercy killing in society. This is the seed that garners the attention of the Nazi Party, who see this man as being able to articulate their murderous intentions regarding the weak and frail under the guise of human compassion.
The professor is a good and decent man, taking care of an invalid mother along with the responsibilities of husband and father, though he does later leave his wife for a younger woman. He is a political liberal who at first is shocked at the political success of the Nazis and cannot believe that they will have any staying power. His best friend is a Jew. Yet, though a series of compromises and rationalizations, he allows himself to be seduced by the benefits of being a member of the Nazi Party, and ultimately becomes a member of the SS. He sacrifices his friendship, and in the end, even fails to save the life of his Jewish friend.
We have often heard about the guilt of the German nation for allowing itself to be hijacked by psychopathic thugs and the perverse ideology they developed. If an educated and intelligent man who has a developed morality like the professor allow himself to become a Nazi is it any wonder that Germany fell prey to the intimidation and demands of conformity that the Nazis cursed it with. Obviously, this is a very complex question with many different variables, yet Good is a film that at least attempts to give us one perspective as to how this nightmare may have
A good film that gives a good perspective on one aspect of German history in the 20th century.