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Swastika (1974)

Swastika 720 DVD

‘Swastika’ is the most controversial documentary about Hitler ever made.

Utilizing intimate color home movie footage shot by Eva Braun, the film presents the private life of a dictator, going on picnics and joking with friends, displaying a banal face to the man labeled as the devil incarnate by history. The film interweaves rare propaganda films which presented Hitler as he wanted to be seen (consoling war widows and frolicking with young children).

Director Philippe Mora combines these materials together to form a revelatory autobiography of Hitler’s rise and fall, from the formation of the Nazi state through the end of WWII.

After a tumultuous reception in Cannes in 1973, the film was banned in Germany for 37 years until 2010, when it opened to reviews acknowledging its significant contribution to understanding Nazism. As the opening credits state, “If Hitler is dehumanized and shown only as a devil, any future Hitler may not be recognized, simply because he is a human being.”

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