The Unknown Soldier (2007)
Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 4
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Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 2
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 120
Academy Award-nominated director Michael Verhoeven unearths the long-buried truth about Nazi Germany in this documentary exploring the Wehrmacht Exhibition - a controversial display consisting of personal letters, photographs, and film footage that implicate common foot soldiers in some of the most horrific atrocities ever committed against mankind. When most folks think of World War II, names like Hitler, Himmler, and Eichmann offer a comforting means of confining evil to a relative few: But
Sep 7, 2007 Limited
Mar 25, 2008
First Run Features
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Once the film gets mired in specifics, it begins to seem like any other Holocaust documentary and loses the sense of relevance and engagement with the now that at first makes it so intriguing.
The film eventually becomes one long therapy session for the German nation as it struggles to understand how its brave and good soldiers could have done such bad, bad things.
As Verhoeven's film makes clear, many thousands of surviving German veterans, along with a disturbing quotient of their children and grandchildren, are much too eager to make excuses.
It is a painful but important subject, to be certain, but the film dilutes its own effectiveness by devolving into a collection of talking heads who often seem to be repeating each other.
Is such footage appropriate to the big-screen environment of the cinema?
German director Michael Verhoeven returns to his country's Nazi past with this searing documentary about the aftershocks of a controversial museum exhibition that rattled the conscience of a nation.
Structurally, the film itself is a pristine example of levelheaded journalism.
Even if you've watched archival evidence of the Holocaust before, anyone with a soul and a functioning conscience intact ought to brace yourself to be sickened afresh by this nauseating, if necessary, reminder of man's inhumanity to man. Never again!
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