The Goebbels Experiment | Chicago Reader

The Goebbels Experiment

Lutz Hachmeister tells the story of the Nazi propaganda minister and his era through his diaries in this 2005 video, revealing a man vacillating between dedicated resolve and depressive self-pity. He loves Hitler from their first meeting, and though Hitler's broken promises soon make him skeptical, he becomes a fiery advocate of “total war,” even after it's clear the Germans have lost. All along he craftily positions Nazism as a substitute for religion, and he's skillful at his job—“We can learn” from Eisenstein, he writes, but his work was “too explicitly propagandistic.” One gripe about this otherwise compelling documentary: when Kenneth Branagh reads Goebbels's words he tries to suggest the man's moods; I would have preferred distance from this monster. In English and subtitled German. 104 min.

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