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Taking Sides [Import]
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I played Major Arnold, the bullish American who is so traumatized by the Holocaust brought on by the Germans that he is assigned to interrogate artists who stayed in Germany during the war.
Furtwangler is the focus of this investigation, as the most renouned conductor of the time. Furtwangler was wealthy, loved by Hitler as well as most Germans. You see, art and culture was big to Nazi life, and though Furwangler never joined the party and actually helped some Jewish musicians escape, he chose to stay in Germany and work. It is known that Hitler so loved him that there was a standing order to not touch him (he was on a list of "immortals" that were viewed as so important they got special treatment even in times of war and hardship.) Furtwangler was openly defiant to other Nazi officials, and they hated him.
LIke many Germans, they knew what the Nazis were up to only after the fact. Then they were somewhat trapped. Furtwangler admits to knowing the brutality.
And that's the hard part of this piece. There is no clear cut answer as to whom is more right in matters. And if done well, the audience understands both "Sides" of this story. Even if they feel stronger leanings towards one side over the other.
There are many parallels to some of the issues in today's current events that make this sampling of history 60 years ago, startling. History does indeed repeat itself in strange new ways.Read more ›
Wilhelm Furtwangler holds his reasoning of keeping inside, holding the struggle face to face.
There have always been these two points of view about how deal with that. Is really the politics more important than the art? It depends on you; and how you face the life; the ancient greeks used call idiot to this kind of people who just care about his personal business; forgetting perhaps the meaning of what citizenship means.
That's why Furtwangler develops his art of cobducting. The art will always survive far beyond the politics ; due his goals are timeless ; the politics turns around another level , a minor level obviously , because the material needs of the human being concern to a major number of people than the art ; whose purpose is by its own nature more reduced, less popular , more aristocratic.
And we are then before a democratic choice ; the art has been always in a less proportion than politics. The Reinassance fact concerned juist about a few minds and men ; and it's hard to think about if the achievements made by all this reborn spiritual could have been understood by the whole population.
This film show both positions ; the trascendence against the present moment ; the aristos facing the vulgarity .
Keitel and Sanksgard sre flamboyant in every role . Szabo with his camera and enlighting are fisrt rate.
The issues delaed in this movie are timeless discussion , tht's why this picture is an important document about the awful facts after the WW2 about Wilhelm Furtwangler the greatest conductor in any age.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This film, which concerns the behavior of the great conductor Willem Furtwangler under Hitler's regime, is only secondarily about whether Furtwangler did or did not sympathize with... Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2004 by gronoway
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