Film Reviews 2008

Good: Nazism Seen By A "Good" German

Source: Nuova Agenzia Radicale (Italy)

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Image Larry Horricks.
© Good Films.
Living without acting. To look at our own little world, avoiding to understand the vastness which surrounds us. The blind eyes of individuals, who exist without understanding the complex and frightening beauty hidden behind the word "life". We often walk along a road without knowing the meaning of what we are doing and where this road will take us, as if our walking couldn't bring us to anything but ourselves.

Good is the provocative title of the latest movie by Vicente Amorim, shown today for the first time in Italy at the Rome Film Festival, after its first screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Berlin, 1937. Here the story of the main character, the university professor Halder, begins. Germany under Hitler's Nazism becomes the background where the story takes place, Halder is never deeply conscious of the historical reality he has a part in, and in the end he will become the unaware pawn in a game where he has ignored the real significance.

He mixes up life with the unreality of the books that he has seen growing up. He seems always be in a tension between feeling the truth of what is happening to himself and suffering it as if it didn't concern him.

The heart of the movie is the friendship that bonds the protagonist to the Jewish psychologist Maurice, played by an extraordinary Jason Isaacs, who is the only contact for Halder with the awful reality which hit the Jewish people during that time.

Halder becomes a part of the Nazi cultural elite and won't be able to save his friend from the horrible death mechanism that he has always thought was something that wasn't true. It's like a dream, a disturbing dream which is constantly linked during the movie to a kind of music that, only in the end in a concentration camp, becomes a fully clarifying symphony.

The movie is fully assembled in the intimate dimension of professor Halder, the war is described within an almost disarming domestic stillness. Viggo Mortensen plays Halder in a masterly way, he wears without judging the clothes of a character who the audience venture until the end to identify with, because of his naïve goodness and the unaware inertia which marks him.

Sometimes a single man can change the world, but when he lies still, asleep, he becomes more dangerous than any other weapon, because he ends up feeding the indifference which is the root of all evil.

Amorim's work doesn't tell the story from the view of someone who knows about this historical process. He describes how the horror in Germany stayed outdoors, and when they faced it they thought it was the necessary epilogue of a justice which, after years of humiliation, should have kissed Hitler's people on the forehead.

Everything is framed in a script which portrays a man in such an absurd time that it makes him lost, incredulous, unarmed. The story is so beautiful, defined by a poetic psychological analysis which lightly touches each movie character, putting it in its time, as a result of this one.

The movie is well developed, it does not have many sensational developments but it works for the viewers because it brings them to deeply think about the human being and his ability to read history, even when it seems there is nothing at all wrong.

It's a wonderful movie, cleverly directed, welcomed with applause. It leaves you with a new taste, speaking about Nazism from a previously unknown perspective.
Last edited: 25 November 2008 14:05:10
© Agenzia Radicale.