Week 9 Blog Post

(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.

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3 thoughts on “Week 9 Blog Post

  1. There are two things that stood out to me about this scene, and I am not sure if they are important or not. The first is that while the boys are laying on the ground, their bodies almost make star shapes. I do not know if stars are significant symbols in this movie, but while watching the film in class, I noticed that the spotlights on Kendrik also made this star-like shape. Whether or not there was any reason for this, I thought it was interesting enough to mention. Also, when the boys are standing up, their lines are so straight that they are parallel to the buildings on each side of them. The framing seemed so perfect that it was like a painting by da Vinci, with every line mathematically drawn out.

  2. I agree that this is a powerful scene.

    This scene demonstrates how the Nazis create support for the Party by brainwashing its members at a very early age. As has been mentioned, the setting and the arrangement of the boys are so formulaic that both formal techniques serve to display the boys as cogs in the machine. The uncannily similar costuming, makeup, and acting styles of each of the boys underscores this as well.

    It is also interesting to note that Miklas, who is most fervent about the Nazi party (and about brainwashing children into more members) in the very beginning while Hendrik is not, is the one who is executed later on in the film.

    Also, this scene is one of the rare moments in the film when the narration is not restricted to Hendrick, and German affairs are put on display for the viewer in more general terms. This is likely how an ordinary film would display the rise of the Nazi party (along with much display of Hitler or some other Nazi leader or soldier). But this film is unique: in its rare use of narration, portrayal of German affairs of Nazi Germany that is not solely from the eyes of Hendrick is, too, quite rare.

  3. This scene is one that really stood out to me and made an impact on me as well. The camera work from above really caught my attention and definitely made the scene stick in my head because it was very eye-opening and an interesting view of the reality of the Nazi movement. I think that the way that the scene was filmed definitely was important to the role that it played in the film. It was a sort of eerie, ominous, and somewhat frightening scene to see all of these little boys all doing exactly the same movements and taking orders from their leader. Although this was the only scene that really showed what was going on outside of the theater and in the real word in terms of Germany and the Nazi’s takeover. It was an interesting way to introduce this topic and to integrate it into the rest of the film.

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