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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:05 am 
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Hey, if we can get another release with some special features, my "sacrifice" will have been worth it!


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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Well, I received my Czech DVD and watched this film for the first time. I must admit a couple of times I very briefly nodded out, but not because of the movie itself; it was just that I was somewhat tired at the time. I expect to re-watch it again today -- but right now, here are my thoughts...

First and foremost, Chuck is very impressive in his part, which of course to Heston Fans is the main thing we're hoping for. I was wondering if I would be able to "believe" that Chuck was really this awful German surgeon, since we're so used to his powerful true voice and his aged persona as an NRA spokeman, and so forth. However, Hest completely won me over! I believed in his performance, and it worked perfectly! One of his best parts and performances!

I thought the movie itself was interesting and a good one, though I would not call it a "great film". Sometimes we do need to see a movie more than once to pick up some details we may have missed, and I was a little confused in some of the editing and story-telling going back and forth. This quote here from this thread is something I felt:

Quote:
The director uses art-film techniques like blackout, flashbacks and too much of expressionism, but somehow the story is not well-told. I had to rewind several scenes to understand what is going on, how to relate the past events with the present .


I found myself doing the same things. There was a lot of dialogue to take in and understand when Heston gives his final speech as the end of the movie. Even when reading James Byrne's very nice and detailed review here I found myself re-reading some words, as IMO they did not really come together clearly for me, though I did get the basic premise that Mengele is admitting to his atrocities.

One other thing I would like to ask people to help me understand is earlier on when Mengele swears he never killed any people (he swears by his wife, I believe). I had taken this to mean that he had NOT been guilty after all, but perhaps he was lying and confessed at the end? Or was this a brief moment where my consciousness faded for just a moment? Either way, I need to see the film a second time.

It was wonderful to see Chuck so active and doing a great job in spite of his many health concerns during filming. This is the professional's art, right? "The Show Must Go On" while the cameras are rolling, and all ailments must be put aside and ignored! I agree 100% with Thorn's love of the "dancing sequence" by Heston -- just beautiful.


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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:21 pm 
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Perhaps he meant that he never 'killed' by his own hand? He experimented on people in the Nazi camps, and if they die as a consequence, that's martyrdom for the cause of science--- isn't it his Darwinian logic?

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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Joe Karlosi wrote:
There was a lot of dialogue to take in and understand when Heston gives his final speech as the end of the movie. Even when reading James Byrne's very nice and detailed review here I found myself re-reading some words, as IMO they did not really come together clearly for me, though I did get the basic premise that Mengele is admitting to his atrocities.


Joe,
Heston as Mengele was spouting Nazi ideology to his son, but in an intellectual way. He had no Christian beliefs and because he really thought that "we are all descended from apes" so only the strongest should survive in his warped opinion. Nazis were the "Master Race" remember. Hitler and his henchmen killed millions of innocent people who they thought were inferior to them: mental defectives, homosexuals, jews, physically handicapped, the homeless, gypsies, Roman Catholic nuns and priests.


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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Thanks for the replies, James and Richelieu. I re-watched the film a second time while more alert, and enjoyed it. I do think it's a good little film (not great), but sadly not the type of "action blockbuster" theaters (at least in the U.S.) bother to release these years, which is a real shame. I am still confident, however, that the movie will get a wider DVD release one day.

James, do you agree with Richelieu's reading of Mengele rationalizing his experiments when he says "I swear I never killed anyone"? It sounds accurate to me, but want to see what others interpret.


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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:53 pm 
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May I interrupt, with apologies? In my opinion, the justification of the Darwinian theory of the 'survival of the fittest' and 'natural selection', in the postwar society has created an amoral existential problem. That is, when one race, politically, or by religion, or by any other sort of narrow nationalism or cultural prejudice, seeks to assert its own superiority over the others, it tries to rationalise its otherwise inhuman advances in terms of the inevitable scientific process, the progress(or 'disgrace') of which is not a moral question, but a keen and dispassionate matter of accepting what is must, by means of 'natural selection'. In the post-World War 1-context, science has taken the place of Darwin's nature. Mengele's assessment of his own past, therefore can be viewed from both the theoretic assumptions: on the one hand, as a proud Nazi, with a superiority feeling over the other races, he feels that he had worked as a part of the system, -- the project of asserting Germany's supremacy in history, and the 'killing' is but a consequence of that inevitable natural, historical and practical process. On the other hand , as a grim naturalist and Darwinian scientist, he believes that the deaths of some people under a process of natural selection is inevitable, and not a personal question of morality or humanity. So he is 'free' from any guilt as a private man, an individual, no matter whatever his politics or science or ideology might have made him look, in public view.

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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Works for me.


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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:48 am 
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Joe Karlosi wrote:
James, do you agree with Richelieu's reading of Mengele rationalizing his experiments when he says "I swear I never killed anyone"? It sounds accurate to me, but want to see what others interpret.


Joe,
Mengele was responsible for 1.5. million deaths, that is a proven fact. He was in denial about all the torture and suffering he was responsible for, as were most Nazis who had to stand trial for their vile crimes. "We were only obeying orders" was their defence.

Mengele joined the ranks of the Waffen SS, the most ruthless of Hitler's soldiers, and served as a medic on the brutal Russian front before being posted to Auschwitz in May 1943 to take up the job that perfectly suited his sadism, his anti-simitism and his fanatical belief in building a super-race. Twins were his specialist subject; he hoped, by studying them, to discover the secrets of genetics. He would pick them out of the lines at the railhead, cosset them, feed them up, befriend them to the point where they called him 'Uncle' - and then cut up their live bodies in terrible experiments. Without anaesthetic, they had their limbs amputated, vocal chords cut out, blood swopped or typhus and other diseases injected into their veins. In one bizarre experiment, two small boys, one a hunchback, were opened up and stitched together back-to-back. Then there was his collection of human eyes - some bright blue, others violet, green or yellow - pinned on a wall in his laboratory 'like butterflies', according to a horrified witness. This macabre tableau was perhaps the most haunting of the unspeakable images in the Nazi doctor's bloody career. It exemplified the perverted political and social ideology he pursued - his crazed search for the key to the race of 'perfect' blue-eyed, blonde haired people.
In that cause, he injected dyes of different colours into the eyeballs of gypsy and Jewish children. He studied the results, then had the youngsters butchered and burned. Only their eyes remained, staring down from that wall. Almost all the children he experimented on were murdered. He injected chloroform into their hearts or shot them in the head. Sometimes he led them in a line to the gas chamber in a game he called 'the way to the chimney'. Then he dissected their bodies and sat at his microscope for hours on end, peering at their organs, searching for more clues for his perverted 'research'.

In the film that is why Hermann is so repulsed when he sees the child sat on Heston's lap. Hermann has read all about his father's experiments, and how he pretended to be an 'uncle' to them before he butchered them.


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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:30 am 
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Yes, James, I understand why the son was so repulsed. I was just wondering why they bothered with the scene where Heston swears quite sincerely that he never killed anyone. It just threw me for a loop, thinking maybe there was a twist there (as movies sometimes take wild liberties with real events). I suppose the meaning of that was Mengele just viewed it differently in his own mind, which I guess was the point.


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 Post subject: Re: My Father, Rua Alguem 5555
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Joe Karlosi wrote:
Yes, James, I understand why the son was so repulsed. I was just wondering why they bothered with the scene where Heston swears quite sincerely that he never killed anyone. It just threw me for a loop, thinking maybe there was a twist there (as movies sometimes take wild liberties with real events). I suppose the meaning of that was Mengele just viewed it differently in his own mind, which I guess was the point.


That scene was put in because Mengele never actually admitted to killing anyone, he regarded his victims as sub-human, so to speak, so in his own twisted logic he never murdered anyone.

Joe, some scenes in the movie reminded me of that awful Michael Moore mocumentary, when the mob was chanting threats and holding banners with Heston's photo on them.


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