May 13, 2009

Justify My Netflix: Hitler's Lost Plan

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

Hitler's Lost Plan

Today's movie: Hitler's Lost Plan, 2004 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix)

Why I added it to my queue: Because as regular readers know, the historical study of Nazi Germany is a bit of an obsession with me, in that I believe only by understanding in a complex way how cartoonish fascists managed to take over an entire liberal democratic country can we stop the same thing from happening in the future (cough cough BUSH REGIME cough cough); and that simply leads me to more and more obscure subtopics as I get older and more informed on the subject, such as this documentary concerning the discovery of an unpublished manuscript by Hitler that purportedly lays out his plans for a Third-Reich-controlled Europe, unearthed in the '90s after the fall of Communism and the release of thousands of pieces of East Germany's historical archives.

The reality: Disappointing. Turns out that the entire first half of this History Channel documentary concerns merely the discovery of the manuscript itself, as well as the scientific efforts to authenticate it (which experts eventually did); and then when they get around in the second half to discussing the actual contents, turns out that the manuscript is little more than a ponderous sequel to Hitler's original 700-page Mein Kampf (judged by most to be the worst-written major political manifesto in history [and after reading it myself a decade ago, I'd have to agree]), instead of what I thought this was going to be, the very real science-fictiony plan Hitler secretly devised with his main architect Albert Speer as World War Two was raging, on how they were going to remake Berlin into a glittering example of Art Deco urban-planning perfection after the war was over. The "secret plan" covered in this documentary turns out to be not much more than another thousand pages' worth of "Jews suck and they all need to die;" and that's not nearly as interesting as detailed drawings of thousand-foot-high city halls and the like, which is what I thought this documentary was going to be about.

Worth your time? If you're a Nazi history buff like me, then yes; otherwise, not really.

Filed by Jason Pettus at 11:44 AM, May 13, 2009. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |