Nov 27, 2007

Grand Illusion

Grand Illusion is French art royalty (son of Pierre-Auguste Renoir) Jean Renoir’s masterpiece. Joseph Goebbels declared the film "Cinematic Public Enemy No. 1.” and with good reason. Grand Illusion is a pacifist antiwar film that was released in 1937. The “Grand Illusion” is the war itself and the man made country borders surrounding it. Fascism was Nationalism in its most extreme form hitting its peak during this time period (in response to Bolshevism which promoted Internationalism). Renoir was able to accomplish showing similarities between nations and the absurdity of fanatic Nationalism. The end of the Second World War proved this to be true with the largest amount of deaths in both European and Human history.

Grand Illusion also represents the end of old Europe and European royalty. Legendary actor Erich von Stroheim plays the role of Captain von Rauffenstein, a German officer. Von discusses with French Captain de Boeldieu that they are no longer needed and are part of European history. These two officers acknowledge they have more in common with their international aristocratic counterparts than they do with their fellow countrymen. This is also the same for the proletarians. Renoir acknowledges the dividers aren’t the Nations but the classes (he may have had a Marxist fetish).

The wealthy Jew Rosenthal also brings up another interesting element going on in Europe. Rosenthal represents the famous Rothschild family. The Rothchild’s had a part in funding most of the wars in Europe and America over the past couple hundred years. Rosenthal brags of his wealth and many acquisitions for being a Frenchman for so little time. The other Frenchmen are unconcerned as Rosenthal is very generous with his food and other desired POW luxuries. The Rothchild’s would later go on to funding 80% of Israel.

Grand Illusion should be mandatory viewing for History classes as it is full of the true relevancies surrounding both the first and second war and European history in general. No film better identifies the fall of Europe and the irrational variables surrounding it. Shortly after Grand Illusion was released Jean Renoir decided he was no longer a pacifist. He came to America and made anti-Nazi propaganda films.

-Ty E

1 comment:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

This film is indeed one of the true masterworks of world cinema but once again (as with The Tin Drum) you only devoted four relatively short paragraphs to reveiwing it, why?.