Sunday, July 16, 2017

Come and talk recent literary/film history with me!

I specifically have one or two questions that Someone Else might be better-equipped to answer:

The Hitchcock film Lifeboat... it has issues, of course, but... well, in a rather peculiar circumstance, it includes a Villain, which villain is
  1. according to the Logic of the Film's Setting
  2. according to opinion spoken by other characters, and
  3. (most importantly) according to his own actions
a Nazi. Whereas plenty of films include "Straw" Nazis (their only dramatic action is to oppose our hero) or "reluctant/in-name-only" Nazis (think of the submarine Captains in both Enemy Below and Das Boot); whereas "Nazi" is often tossed around as an epithet; and whereas "Nazism" and "anti-semitism" are frequently used interchangeably (which is an error)1 in public chatter: Therefore I suspect that the confluence of those three Nazisms in one character (as in Lifeboat) is Comparatively Rare, especially in English-language Fiction.

I have some impression that also there are acting-believing Nazis shown in other English-language films, both as hero (Million-Dollar Baby) and villain (perhaps the Potter saga?), but actually calling it out seems also to be Comparatively Rare.

Are these impressions of probability, do you think or know, correct? Or have you other examples to suggest? (one other film that has been rattling in my mind since I started puzzling this question is La Vita E Bella, whose believing Nazi is a well-dressed woman complaining of arithmetic word-problems in public schools)

1) The existential opposition between any non-Jewish Nazi state and the Jewish Diaspora follows of necessity from the tradition of Jews calling and keeping themselves a People Set Apart while at the same time insisting on staying here amongst these other Gentes. It is, however, not logically impossible that a particular local Jewish Polity should also become National-Socialist — such would be opposed to the Torah Commands to Love thy Neighbour, and to Protect the Stranger and Orphan... but since the Jews are a people and not simply a religion thus they are capable of violating Torah while remaining Jewish. Meanwhile, (recalling that Nazi Germany was also pleased to export its Jews in exchange for gold) Nazi-Jewry-in-Jewish-State would be entirely compatible with Nazi-Germany-in-German-Empire and Nazi-Japan-in-Japanese-Empire and Nazi-Afghan-State-in-Afghanistan... and the latter three together were a genuine live idea during WWII.


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