Too Many Nazis, Not Enough Lesbians

07Jan09

Is it just me or have an obscene amount of films about Nazis been released recently?

Let’s see, there’s Valkyrie, the Tom Cruise flick about the failed assassination attempt on Hitler. Does anyone else think it was perhaps not the best move PR-wise for Tom to play a Nazi? He doesn’t exactly have the warm and fuzziest image these days, so I really don’t think playing a member of a supremacist, genocidal political party will help things much, even if he is a “good” Nazi.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, an unashamedly (at least in its advertising) manipulative would-be tearjerker, is about an eight-year-old boy who befriends a Jewish boy in Auschwitz, which his father commands.

Daniel Craig stars in Defiance, a movie about brothers who escape Nazi-occupied Poland to join a Russian resistance force that rescues other Jews.

In Good, Viggo Mortensen plays a German literature professor whose book advocating compassionate euthanasia is used by the rising socialist party for propaganda, pulling him into the world of Nazism.

Kate Winslet in 'The Reader'And there’s The Reader, starring the lovely Kate Winslet, about a young boy’s obsession with an older woman who is tried for the deaths that occurred at Auschwitz during her time there as an SS guard.

(And while there are no Nazis in it that I can tell, Australia, with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, is set during World War II.)

With the exception of The Boy in Striped Pajamas, these films have some big names, and it is Oscar season. If these are the films that their respective studios have trotted out to garner nominations – and with them box office success – I have to say that they reflect a little poorly on the film industry. I know that we’re in a financial recession, but I didn’t think it applied to creativity as well.

I’m gonna say it: I’m sick of Holocaust movies. Don’t get me wrong. There are some very fine movies about the Holocaust that I like very much, but it feels like, especially at the moment, that Hollywood thinks it can slap a swastika on a movie poster and film goers and the Academy will flock to it. For me, the Hollywood treatment often cheapens the immense tragedy of the Holocaust and perpetuates a certain image of Jews. I’m not Jewish so I may be incredibly wrong, but I have to think that there is more to being Jewish than the Holocaust, though I’m sure that being the target of genocide is a sizable component to Jewish identity.

As far as significant representation in film goes, it seems to me that Jews have Holocaust movies, Fiddler on the Roof, and Woody Allen. I’d love to see more films like Kissing Jessica Stein, whose titular main character is Jewish because she happens to be Jewish. No one dies and there is nary a Nazi in sight.

Someone said to me once in college that a really juicy paper title includes the word “Nazi,” “vampire,” or “lesbian.” We’ve got Nazis more than covered at the box office, as well as those pesky luminescent vampires, so where are the lesbians? OK, I’ll even take some Nazi vampire lesbians.

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3 Responses to “Too Many Nazis, Not Enough Lesbians”

  1. 1 MT

    Hi!
    Good call re: all those nasty nazis! I didnt actually notice, though I am looking forward to 2009 and film because of all the fantastic 3d opportunities! are you excited>? I think its the 80's kid in me that still loves it.

  2. 2 MT

    and i dont know if posting twice is breaking comment etiquette but rest assured, vampire lesbian killers is coming soon

    http://www.lesbianvampirekillersmovie.co.uk/

    from the makers of gavin and stacey

  3. 3 stephanie b

    I didn’t know that there were a lot of 3D films coming out in 2009.

    I think I’d rather see the lesbian vampires not be killed.


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