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Taking Sides; Movie Review
provocative, spellbinding, brilliantly scripted
Rating: * * * * *
If I can smell the stench of burning human flesh for miles, how did the Germans not know what was happening in their own country? That's the question Major Steve Arnold(Harvey Keitel) demanded be answered. Why did an entire nation of German people stand idly by and not stop Adolf Hitler from his continuous annihilation of the jews?
Istavan Szabo, director of the 2001 motion picture movie, Taking Sides states, this is a movie for our times. Szabo, a hungarian says, there must be limits to our compromises. We must decide what to accept and what not to accept. There must be a point where we as civilized human beings must not only say this is unacceptable, but act to change the unacceptable. We must all as citizens be able to reach the point of nonacceptance and act upon it. It is our duty as citizens.
The burning question; should the citizens of Germany be held accountable for allowing Hitler to do what he had done? There is no denying they had no part in working in the concentration camps and killing innocent jews for Hitler. However, they were German citizens living under the government of Adolf Hitler. Why were American soldiers forced to step in and rid the world of Hitler? Why was there no uprising from the German people?
Were they mowing their lawns and shopping for groceries while Adolf Hitler was bulldozing thousands of dead, jewish corpses into massive dug out pits of German soil?
Major Arnold(Keitel) is flabbergasted, frustrated and exasperated that even Emmi Straube(Birgit Minichmayr) is not outraged by the behavior and actions of Wilhelm Furtwangler. Straube is the daughter of one of the few soldiers who tried to stop the Hitler regime. Major Arnold is an American soldier sent to Germany to question Furtwangler a reknowned, brilliant conductor about his association with Hitler and his regime. Furtwangler adamantly denies being a Nazi. Yet, he met with Hitler accepted honors from Hitler and personally conducted orchestras in front of Hitler.
Instead of outrage from Emmi and others, Major Arnold is noting hostility from the Germans. His perplexion goes to the very essence of what this film asks.
Brilliantly scripted and eloquently photographed, Taking Sides is continuously pounding you for your decision. Will you stay and accept Hitler's regime, or will you sacrifice yourself and your way of life to stop this maniacal killer? What will you do!!
Beautfiully, glistening cathedrals intermixed with Bach, Beethoven and Brahms is the backdrop of the film about the Adolf Hitler regime. Should the music play on as the jewish corpses continue to burn?
Taking Sides asks the question no one wants to answer; will you sit and listen to the music, or will you leave your life? What is your limit of compromise?
If you had the chance to purchase a discounted ticket to the Olympics held in Germany during the Hitler regime, would you buy the ticket? If you had a chance for a gold medal would you partake in the relay race?
Istvan Szabo the director of Taking Sides is correct, this is a movie for our times. We all live in glass houses casting stones until the time our house is shattered and we are aghast.
Taking Sides is a must see!