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DER BOMBERPILOT (TV) (director/writer: Werner Schroeter; cinematographer: Werner Schroeter; editor: Werner Schroeter; cast: Carla Egerer (Carla), Mascha Rabben (Mascha), Magdalena Montezuma (Magdalena); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Werner Schroeter; Film Museum/PAL format; 1970-West Germany-in German with English subtitles)
Aesthetically pleasing.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

This was the flamboyant avant-garde German filmmaker Werner Schroeter’s (“Malina”/”The Death of Maria Malibran”/”Eika Katappa”) first film for German television and was controversial. It toyed with the “cultural myth” of Nazism in a mocking way that few other German filmmakers dared to do at the time. Schroeter offers a farcical musical chronicle of Germany from the Nazi era until the economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s, one that questions the official whitewashed version of the Nazis that has been taught to the younger generations. It centers on three fictional awkward women characters, Carla (Carla Egerer), Mascha (Mascha Rabben) and Magdalena (Magdalena Montezuma), who start out together in 1943 singing patriotic Nazi songs at revues and after the war search for careers as singers and dancers.

Aesthetically pleasing.Schroeter plays fast and loose with historical accuracy to prove his agenda, as he depicts the false memories that beset the German population after the war– conveniently forgetting about the Nazi atrocities. It’s through these foggy lenses of forgetfulness the Germans develop a sense of disorder and repression, as they blindly move forward in the new world trying to overcome their past with feel-good lies.

Schroeter’sgrotesque parody of the Nazi revue shows is daring, as it was probably the first German film on TV to do so in such a relentless and gleeful manner.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”