Feb 22, 2014

Jew-Boy Levi

During the late-1960s/early-1970s anti-Heimat films—student movement-approved left-wing works that mocked and ridiculed the distinctly Germanic and highly popular Heimatfilm (which spanned roughly from the late-1940s to the early-1970s) of yesteryear—were rather popular with top filmmakers of German New Cinema, with directors including (but certainly not limited to) Rainer Werner Fassbinder (The Niklashausen Journey, Pioneers of Ingolstadt), Werner Herzog (Herz aus Glas aka Heart of Glass), Wim Wenders (The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick), Volker Schlöndorff (Michael Kohlhaas - Der Rebell, The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People of Kombach), Herbert Achternbusch (Bierkampf, Heilt Hitler! aka Heal Hitler!), Walter Bockmayer (Flammende Herzen aka Flaming Hearts, Geierwally), and Peter Fleischmann (Hunting Scenes from Bavaria, The Hamburg Syndrome) contributing works to the homeland-hating Teutonic anti-genre. Of course, like any genre/subgenre, the anti-Heimatfilm may have died long ago, but every once in a while some nostalgic (or, in some cases, anti-nostalgic) auteur will unearth the conventions of the genre, including a revival of sorts during the late-1980s/early-1990s, with Stefan Ruzowitzky’s The Inheritors (1998) aka Die Siebtelbauern and Peter Kern’s Haider lebt – 1. April 2021 (2002) being rather contrasting examples of this Germanic cinema phenomenon. Undoubtedly, the Hollywood-esque German-Swiss-Austrian co-production Viehjud Levi (1999) aka Jew-Boy Levi, directed by documentarian turned TV hack Didi Danquart (The Pannwitz Stare, Offset) and adapted from the 1980 Thomas Strittmatter play of the same name, is the most superlatively soulless, aesthetically and thematically superficial, and exceedingly ethno-masochistic contribution to the anti-Heimat film style that I have had the greatly grating mis-experience of suffering. In fact, Jew-Boy Levi is not only a hatred-stirring anti-Heimat film, but also a sort anti-Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany (1984) celluloid polemic that callously contradicts the so-called ‘apologetic’ tone of Edgar Reitz’s film. Indeed, like Reitz’s magnum opus Heimat, which was criticized  by a number of film critics because it did not wallow on the holocaust, Jew-Boy Levi features an anti-social character named Paul who is the only one in his village that is tired of rural life and has the desire to travel outside the country, but the similarities stop there as Danquart’s libelous and mundanely minimalistic lynch mob flick features liberal-sired stereotyped ‘archetypes’ as opposed to likeable idiosyncratic country characters like its celluloid nemesis. Featuring a wandering Jew with a heart of gold, a psychopathic National Socialist bureaucrat, a lecherous Nazi whore who is willing to betray her man for random man-meat, boorish beer-addled bullies who attack with the proclivities of rabid German Shepherds, and various kraut moral cowards who jump on the Hitlerite bandwagon to appease the greater volk, Jew-Boy Levi is the sort of deluded and ultimately botched philistine wet dream that has been made especially to appeal to the most idiotic of the goyim as a innately insulting work that makes Hollywood agitprop pieces like Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) seem super thematically sophisticated by comparison. 

 Taking the first word of its German title, ‘Viehjud’, from a derogatory word for a Hebrew in the cattle trade, Jew-Boy Levi features a conspicuously contrived world ostensibly set in the Black Forest region of Germany in 1935 before most Jews were forced to concentrate in concentration camps. Traveling Jew boy Benjamin Levi (Swiss actor Bruno Cathomas) has just come back from a long stay in the Rhineland and has set his semi-Asiatic eyes on a farmer named Andreas Horger’s (Georg Olschewski) underage waitress daughter Lisbeth (Caroline Ebner), but so has an antisocial, unemployed bum named Paul Braxmeier (Bernd Michael Lade), who does not make a suitable suitor for the little lass, at least according to the girl's parents. Aside from a couple of joking remarks, none of the sternly Catholic inhabitants of the Black Forest village care about the fact that Levi is a member of god’s chosen tribe, but that all changes when a Nazi engineer named Fabian Kohler (Ulrich Noethen), who moonlights as a hack magician, and his crew of Reichsarbeitsdienst brownshirted thugs come to the area to build roads and whatnot for the great Reich. The first sign that things are getting heavy in the hinterland is when Levi’s farmer friend Andreas Horger opts for slaughtering a calf instead of selling it to him in what is an allegorical scene alluding to the holocaust (or something). Meanwhile, prick Paul seduces but then rejects engineer Kohler’s whore girlfriend/secretary Neuner (Martina Gedeck, who is probably best known for portraying Ulrike Meinhof in The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008)), which puts him on the shit list with the nazi nymphomaniac. On top of that, Paul replaces a rabbit with brown scheiss in Kohler’s magic hat (thus embarrassing the humorless Nazi in front of a live peasant audience), which results in him getting a beatdown from some nefarious nazi hoods. When Levi has something stolen from him, he makes the moronic mistake of going to anti-kosher Kohler for help and is told that he is “nothing” and thus his problems mean nothing. A simpleminded man who loves singing Yiddish songs to his beloved pet rabbit, Levi is in for a horrendous shock when he discovers that someone has beheaded his hare and left it in a bloody sack for him to discover. Needless to say, virtually all of the inhabitants of the village turn on Levi, including farmer Horger and his wife Kresenz (lapsed Fassbinder superstar Eva Mattes in a rather unflattering role), who initially encouraged their daughter Lisbeth’s romance with the Judaic gentleman due to his wealth. In the end, all the local yokels gang up on Levi and aggressively attempt to get him to sing a Nazi song instead of a Yiddish one, but luckily Lisbeth pulls out a shotgun, thus enabling the Hebrew to make his great escape on his beloved motorcycle. Indeed, while not depicted in the film, one can only assume Levi made his way to America to make his fortune and eventually sue the Germans for reparations after the Second World War for the major marxist crime of micro-agression. 

 Featuring swinish kraut hicks getting old retarded men drunk by force-feeding them alcohol, a kindly Hebrew treating his braindead gentile neighbors to lavish gifts, a half-retarded farmer nonsensically remarking to his Jewish friend “Christian Jews are worse than real Jews. If you weren’t a Jew, you’d be the worst Christian Jew,” ‘outsiders’ like midgets and kosher country boys portraying the only likeable characters, and nazi villains with less depth than the eponymous dumb blonde villain of Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975), Jew-Boy Levi is ultimately nothing short of an innately insult work, no matter what your intelligence level and/or political persuasion is. In its damning depiction of the German collective as a mindless mass of meek followers who can be easily coerced into hating Jews in a second’s time as if so-called anti-Semitism is an intrinsic element of the German character that can be atavistically reawakened at any time, Jew-Boy Levi is the spirit of anti-kraut/anti-Catholic jude-boi Daniel Goldhagen’s ahistorical Teutophobic polemic Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (1996). Aesthetically speaking, Jew-Boy Levi seems like it was directed by an autistic eunuch who would rather direct children’s fantasy films than serious German arthouse films. In short, Jew-Boy Levi is probably the worst German film I have ever seen and this is coming from someone who has viewed Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) and one or two of Alois Brummer’s low-camp Bavarian blue movies. In its strategically dumbed down depiction of a rural German microcosm, the message of Jew-Boy Levi is ‘stupid barbaric krauts betrayed and scapegoated exceedingly generous and morally pristine Jews that they had the distinguished honor of being in the company of.’ Undoubtedly, Jew-Boy Levi is symptomatic of why real Heimat films no longer exist in the Fatherland, as it is the repugnant expression of a mentally colonized and culturally-distorted people who have been spiritually cuckolded by ethno-masochistic excrement like Danquart’s dauntingly deluded and debasing film. Indeed, maybe director Danquart can learn a thing or two from Veit Harlan about how to execute more subtle cinematic propaganda. 

-Ty E

No comments: