(First minute of the video)
For this week’s post I’m analyzing the scene in which the young boys are being taught how to act like Nazis. This scene had a profound impact on me because I realized that this actually happened in the pre-World War II days and that these boys were brainwashed to act like brutal Nazis at such a young age.
One of the first things that I noticed while watching this scene was that all the boys looked very similar in their appearance, aside from the uniforms they were wearing. All of the boys had blue eyes, fair skin, and blonde or dirty blonde hair with a similar short hairstyle. The boys all had matching uniforms, so it was hard to distinguish one boy from another because they looked almost identical. Their uniforms consisted of black shoes, knee length white socks, black shorts, a long sleeve mustard colored collared shirt, black ties, and the Nazi symbol on their arm. Other aspects of mise-en-scene that I noticed were the synchronized movement of the boys. At the beginning of the scene, the boys are laying on the ground in perfect formation, with their legs spread out and their arms touching each other. Then, as they are commanded to do so, they all get up using the same movements and chants.
One of the other aspects of this scene that stood out to me was the camerawork. At the beginning we get the establishing shot of the boys laying on the ground. When they stand up, the camera is low toward the ground and tilted slightly upward. This makes the boys seem taller than they actually are, and also emphasizes the way they are standing in a perfectly straight line. When each of the boys and commander are talking, there is a close-up shot of their face. Not only were close-up shots significant in this scene, but they were also used excessively throughout the entire film. The close-up shots emphasize their facial expressions which show practically no emotion because they are so serious and staring straight ahead as they shout.