10 November 2002 | up_and_out
German History X
My title above really says it all.
The film is as outstanding as is "American History X." The young lead is also. As was Edward Norton of course. The theme is very similar, and just as well developed... Characters include the older man with Neo-Nazi ideas leading young people with little or no father figures stray, the protected or protective brother figure, the strong mother figure, the jail scenes with all the violence to be expected. The list of parallels is endless.
Yes, you may have seen it all before. But this flick is worthwhile. Face it - the topic perhaps does belong more to Berlin (need I say it -the birth place of Neo-nazism) than to Los Angeles. And the Germans have finally made a film about a culture they originated, which is outstanding in many ways.
The inside look at the old GDR (East Germany) is very informative, and well told to non-Germans. Germans may think otherwise of this recurring "East German" theme, a staple plot setting in German cinema for the last 12 years with no end in sight. But even if that is old to you, there is so much to appreciate in the movie that it will not disappoint. Certainly, the lead performance by the Berlin teenager (age at the time of filming anyway) is chilling, and impactful. We watch, accompany and feel his transformation intimately. In my last comparison with "American History X," I assure you the lead in this movie is every bit as dense and intense as Edward Norton was.
Too bad it has not been shown (yet, perhaps) to more international audiences. I saw it in late October 2002 at the São Paulo Film Festival. I do definitely recommend it (my rating 10/10). See this one on the big screen when it comes your way.