Research article

Furtwänglers Taschentuch: Der Gebrauch dokumentarischer Materialien in Filmen über die Zeit des Nationalsozialismus



Taking Sides – Der Fall Furtwängler (2001), Der Untergang (2004), Sophie Scholl – die letzten Tage, Dresden (both 2006) and similar recent fiction films that tell stories of the time of National Socialism aim to not only entertain, but also to educate and to enhance historical knowledge. In order to fulfil this task, they usually explicitly or implicitly claim to show truth in a fiction film. As far as content is concerned, this claim to truth can often be seen in the references made to historical sources or memoirs. This study looks beyond the content level by investigating the impact that the claim to truth in fiction film has on style and structure of such films. It mainly focuses on the interaction of fictional and factual (often documentary) material. A close look at the different uses of factual materials in fiction films and other stylistic features such as colours, titles, and choices of actors, demonstrates the importance of these features for the films' claim for a high level authenticity and hence truth. Yet the examples examined in this study also reveal that this material, far from granting a neutral perspective, is used to underline and strengthen not the 'true story' but the interpretation of history favoured by the film makers.
  • Year: 2011
  • Volume: 11
  • Page/Article: 66-83
  • DOI: 10.18573/newreadings.77
  • Published on 1 Jan 2011
  • Peer Reviewed