The Holocaust–LOL or FML?

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I’ve blogged about it more than any other movie that’s come out this year. Hell, I don’t even really love movies that much! But last night, putting my money where my mouth is, I saw Inglorious Basterds.

By the way, while I’m not going to spoil the ending, or divulge too much plot, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, and plan to, you may or may not want to continue reading. So, Spolier-ish Alert, at your own risk.

basterds.jpg The movie was good. Don’t get me wrong. It was a complete and utter fantasy, but still good. Watching Jews kill and torture Nazis at every turn, in some respects, can feel redeeming. To use on old cliche, if you could go back in time, would you go and kill Hitler? Kind of the same feelings I got in the movie.

But here is my critique. Even though the movie has barely any Holocaust imagery, with no concentration camps, death marches, etc., this is still a Holocaust film. While the movie focuses on the war effort, namely Americans vs. Germans, it is actually a movie about Jews vs. Nazi oppressors. The only reason the “Basterds” are so cruel in their warfare is to exact revenge on the Germans who tried (and were still trying) to wipe out the Jewish population of Europe.

Which brings me to what I actually want to talk about. There were some witty, even a couple laugh out loud lines in the movie. And the crowd in the theatre was just eating it all up.

Now I’m not necessarily against laughing during a Holocaust movie. Take Life Is Beautiful, for example. What makes that movie all the more powerful as a Holocaust film is that it’s funny. That even a funny man could not escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

But the humor in Basterds is different. The humor is in the film for the sake of being witty and Hollywood. The movie probably would have been just as good if I didn’t laugh once. As for my fellow movie-goers, I’m scared they got lost in the humor. Basterds is already a fantasy film. It isn’t based on real events and is highly implausible.

With all the blood, guts, and jokes, I’m worried that people will walk away from the film comparing it more to Lethal Weapon than The Pianist.

Posted on August 24, 2009

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4 thoughts on “The Holocaust–LOL or FML?

  1. thank goodness you are thinking my thoughts. i went to see inglorious basterds with some non-jewsih friends of mine and not only was the whole theatre cracking up, but so were my friends. does every little funny comment deserve a huge bout of laughter when you know that a jew is about to be killed. with each laugh, i wanted to be a basterd a smack some justice on my friends face. but i sat and brewed. yet, i loved the movie. and i promise not to divulge anything for a week for you to see the movie, after that, your own fault. jeremy, we’ll chat tomorrow?

  2. tzipi

    With these type of movies I then start understanding, though not agreeing, with Finkelstein’s notion of Holocaust industry.

    Why should we as Jews have the feeling to slap best friends! If this is what the movie make you feel, I think we should boycott it quietly, not like the passion mischigas.
    Let Hollywood not make money on this….. if that is what Jeremy Moses feels…. seconded by anonymous.

    Thank you for the tip, I will NOT go and suffer in by seeing this movie.


  3. TheReptileJew

    Inglorious Basterds great film or greatest film. I do not see what all the fuss is about this film does not insult us nor ww2 it is a fantasy film that made me proud to be a Jew. I am glad to see that Jewish heros such as The Bear Jew are in this film and watching hitler die made my day. How ever I did feel a bit guilty to think of what we did to the poor Nazi scalping them was a little to far but all in all This film is so good that I recomend it to all my fellow brother Jews.

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