"...an example of the limitations with this form of filmmaking..."
A sitdown with Traudl Junge, one of Hitler’s personal secretaries during World War II.Austere in presentation, the documentary is a simple record of Frau Junge recounting memories of the early war, getting the job, working with Hitler and staying until the last days (past his suicide), by speaking into the camera and occasionally taking a drag from her cigarette. The action is only intermittently cut up when there is footage of her watching herself (wearing black now as opposed to the predominant red) and adding a verbal postscript. It is very compelling to listen to her storytelling, her recognition of her young naïveté, her current struggle to acknowledge what she was involved with (the antecedent text quotes her deathbed call to the directors as saying she is just now beginning to forgive herself). But despite the newsworthiness and first-hand account of much of what she has to say, the documentary format is still a stifling one; aside from the one or two off-camera questions, the movie is 87-minutes of a talking head, edited here and there with only the use of a zoom button. It’s just another example of the limitations, and in the end, my general restlessness, with this form of filmmaking.
Directed by André Heller and Othmar Schmiderer.[See it if you must.]
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.