Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Valkyrie--A Good Review

Doino likes it--and thinks that Tom Cruise did a good job (!)

...On its own terms, its an engrossing thriller—far better than the usual Hollywood fare. Moreover, apart from its artistic and entertainment value, the film has educational and moral elements, and—gratefully—avoids political correctness. Certain academics have an “unappealing habit” of dismissing the 20 July plotters as reactionaries, “while earnestly extolling the self-sacrifices of the underprivileged Communists,” to quote historian Michael Burleigh. But there are no heroic Communists in Valkyrie, and shouldn’t be: most Communists opposed to Hitler, after all, were Stalinists, who simply wanted to replace one murderous dictatorship with another. The honorable Resistance, in contrast—ranging from social democrats to conservative aristocrats—were fighting to rescue and preserve Western civilization.

Von Stauffenberg was a Catholic, and opposed the Holocaust (although the film doesn't mention that, and really doesn't get into character development.)

Peter Hoffmann, the leading authority on the German Resistance, and Stauffenberg’s biographer, has praised the new film for its historical accuracy (ranking it higher than an acclaimed 2004 German production); and at least one member of the family, who had initially expressed apprehension about the project, has praised it as well: Stauffenberg’s daughter, Konstanze von Schulthess-Rechberg—the same child who was in her mother’s womb at the time of Operation Valkyrie—was at the New York premiere, and announced the film “a success.”

If so, Cruise deserves much of the credit, for without his interest and backing, Valkyrie may never have been made, let alone received international exposure. In a recent interview the star admitted that he had “no idea,” until recently, about the German Resistance, and regretted that most people in the world have never even heard of Stauffenberg. Thankfully, as a result of this film, that will no longer be true. The Good Germans, at last, have finally gotten their due

Yes, there were such folks---a LOT of them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

His displeasure with the Holocaust is made known in the beginning part of the film. I had dismissed it at the time as hero romanticizing, since these types of films often attempt to make the hero perfectly righteous. Upon looking up information after the film, it turned it out that indeed he was against the Holocaust.