Reviews of Recent Independent, Foreign & Documentary Films in Theaters and DVD/Home Video

Traudle Junge

Directed by: André Heller & Othmar Schmiderer.
Produced by: Danny Krausz & Kurt Stocker.
Written by: Heller & Schmiderer.
Director of Photography: Schmiderer.
Edited by: Daniel Poehacker.
Released by: Sony Picture Classics.
Country of Origin: Austria. 90 min. Rated: PG.
With: Traudle Junge.
DVD Special Features: English, French & Spanish Subtitles.

Traudle Junge was 22 when she became one of Hitler’s secretaries, serving him from 1942 until his death in 1945 and eventually writing his final will and testament. At age 81, she is determined to come clean about why she never looked beyond the Fuhrer’s facade–their paternalistic relationship and the tranquility within his inner circle during the war, hence the title. The daughter of an apolitical fatherless family, Junge seeks office work as a way to pay for dancing school, and proudly recalls having won Hitler’s approval after passing a typing test. In this talking-head interview, Junge uses the camera as a confessor, painting the private Hitler as a control freak. Although she’s admits to being afraid of humanizing Hitler, one can’t help but imagine him playing with his beloved dog Blondie or his and Junge’s playful interactions. Her description of the state of denial and the gallows humor within the bunker as the Soviet forces approach Berlin is especially compelling. Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels tells her, “Chin up, while you still got one,” and Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun declares “I want to be a beautiful corpse.” Her account is an often-riveting act of contrition. But as illuminating and as important as its message may be, Blind Spot covers much of the same ground as many other films and thus sheds new light on a compliant insider, rather than this historical period. KT
April 24, 2003


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