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Posted Saturday, September 18, 2004

BBC News

London, Saturday, September 18, 2004


Germans flock to see Hitler film

MORE than 100,000 German filmgoers flocked to see a controversial big-budget movie about Adolf Hitler on its opening night on Thursday.

The Downfall, shown on 400 screens, stars Swiss actor Bruno Ganz as the Nazi leader and sparked debate about portraying Hitler with a human side.

Ex-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has hailed it as a way for young people to be reminded of the horror of Hitler.

The £9m film's makers said they were happy young and old had gone to watch.

Critics were divided over the film, which details the end of the Third Reich leading up to Hitler's suicide in his bunker on 30 April 1945.

German historian Hans Mommsen said: "Reducing history to stories about people is not suitable for gaining an understanding of the greater historical process."

But British historian and Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw said: "Of all the portrayals of Hitler, this is the first which I found convincing."

The film will be shown throughout continental Europe and in Japan. Producers are also hoping to distribute it in North America and Britain.



Related stories on this website:

Two new films show that Germans are learning to confront Hitler's legacy | Germany breaks the Hitler taboo | Media angst over Hitler hype | Sympathetic film portrayal of Hitler leaves Germans baffled | Inevitably: Critics pan Hitler movie as 'worst comedy of the year'
Wie Hitlers Antisemitismus schließlich zur Judenvernichtung führte | Mommsen's moral cowardice on display
Our big Adolf Hitler file
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