When Der Hauptmann was released in cinemas in 2018, it was more of a smaller, niche audience that became aware of the film. But that doesn’t change the fact that Robert Schwentke is one of the most impressive and uncomfortable German films of recent years has created. The strip also made it into our Moviepilot Top 100 of the best films of the past decade.
If you don’t know Der Hauptmann yet, you can watch him today on 3sat. The director of major US films such as RED – Older, Harder, Better, RIPD – Rest in Peace Department and The Determination – Insurgent deals with it with blind obedience to power, extreme excesses of violence and fascist mechanisms.
The captain disturbs as an unpleasant war grotesque
In 1945, shortly before the end of the Second World War, the young private Willi Herold (Max Hubacher) obtained a captain’s uniform in Der Hauptmann. In order to avoid exposure, which for the deserter would mean immediate death, he assumes a false identity
Check out the trailer for The Captain here:
The Captain – Trailer (German) HD
From then on he pretends to be a captain. After Herold wins over a small group of other soldiers, the men slowly get into one brutal power rush.
In The Captain uses Schwentke stylistic devices of surreal theatre and the sheer war grotesque. In doing so, he mixes psychological aspects such as the disintegration of the human soul during the National Socialist era with explicitly portrayed details and terrible hints.
That the protagonist actually existed and thus the story on true facts based, only makes the film more uncomfortable. In the hodgepodge of works about World War II, The Captain stands out as surreal madness. A harrowing viewing experience is guaranteed.
The Hauptmann runs today at 11:40 p.m. on 3sat.
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Have you already seen The Captain or do you still want to see the film?