Third Reich: Rise & Fall - 2010 - 4/10
Embarrassing, amateurish, so-called World War II documentary. Two parts: “Rise" - “Fall"
Purported to be told from the German point of view using letters, journals, and never before seen film footage.
The letters were from footsoldiers, citizens, ordinary souls. After almost every passage, however, the omniscient, voice of doom narrator rebukes or reinterprets. Editorializes.
Half of the found footage is compelling, though one grows suspicious of its authenticity.
The other half is of picnics, birthday parties, beach outings. Nothing related to the Third Reich or WWII.
There is a memorable howler in “Fall” at the onset of Operation Barbarossa.
(Barbarossa was not mentioned, by the way. Nor were any battles, operations, generals, politicians, Krupps, the SA, Gestapo … Next to zero pesky historical details are in this program).
Anyway, the Wehrmacht prepares to invade.
Footage cross-cuts between cannon fire, growling Panzers, dive-bombing Stukas … and …
an adorable kitten playing on a ladder. That’s correct, a genuine WWII kitty.
What the F?
Throughout, the video work of this “documentary” is inept.
The editor could not resist inserting old timey and damaged effects.
Sprocket holes, scratches, surface debris. Transitions are jam-packed with those.
Editor seems like a 6th grade kid with an effects kit.
Makes one wonder how much of the actual footage was tampered with.
Like colorized? Or using stock from another era and aging it?
Once tampering begins, doubts about authenticity, accuracy and integrity creep in.
Very disappointing. Think “Third Reich For Dummies” only shallower and less focused.