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Forbidden Films

Verbotene Filme

Directed by Felix Moeller
Germany, 2014


Between 1933 and 1945, 1200 feature films were made in Germany. After the war the Allies banned over 300 films as propaganda. There are still restrictions on over 40 of these films today. How should we deal with this dark legacy: does it deserve to be preserved or should we rather dispose of it ?

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Forbidden Films Directed by Felix Moeller
Whereas Capitalism can be called an audiovisual essay with a distinct position and thesis of its own (akin to an Adam Curtis polemic), this is a documentary that seemingly aims to present a debate without taking sides about whether Nazi films should be banned today—and without really compelling me to choose a position either. The results are provocative, yet also, in spite of the subject matter, a bit juiceless.
July 02, 2018
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On the whole, the film handles its excerpting quite well, and I found particularly interesting the edited-out footage—swastikas, Hitler, tanks, and planes—of films that then went on to be shown in theatres and on TV after the war. Forbidden Films is hardly a well-crafted film itself… Forbidden Films is not a great film, but it can be a great facilitator of conversation.
February 23, 2016
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[One subject says,] “I think we should make it all freely available and we’ll just have to talk about it. Of course there’ll be abuse. But I think it’s better than when it’s all covered up.” It’s as apt a conclusion as the shots of the fortified film bunker are a beginning. Moeller’s documentary has taken an important step toward opening a discussion that can only be more useful than silence, or than the warehousing of these films in a structure where they remain unseen, prohibited—and liable to explode.
June 12, 2015
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