Edited By Richard Mason and Jarosław Suchoples
World War II in Europe in Selected European Feature Films, 2010–2013
The current transition from communicative to cultural memory and an ongoing public interest in Nazi Germany and in World War II has resulted in the making of about 50 World War II dramas by 15 European countries between 2010 and 2013. Contributing to ensuing discourses on memory and national identities, on history and values, these critically acclaimed or controversially reviewed films showcase many facets of the bloodiest military conflict in human history set in Norway, Poland, the Soviet Union, Germany, and in the Atlantic Ocean. Award-winning narratives realistically convey aspects of the brutal German occupation regimes and tell powerful stories of individual and organized resistance, of civil disobedience, courage and heroism, of tragedy and perseverance but also add uncomfortable truths by showing acts of collaboration, cowardice and betrayal. Movies from Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland depict the final days of World War II, the revenge of the victors and the suffering of (German) civilians in 1945/1946. Told from their unique perspectives several of the European film productions have caused overdue public discussions, soul searching, debate and uproar, and have even led to political controversies between countries.
Key words: Cinematic representation of World War II, European feature films, memory discourse, film analysis, war drama, war crimes
In today’s Germany, film and television have taken over from historians and history books as the main way in which the history of the Third Reich is transmitted to the public. Andrew Wormald
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