Videovista have My Review of Orson Welles’ The Stranger (1946).
As I mention in the review, the real meat of The Stranger is its take on German war guilt. There are many films dealing with this issue, but I’d be genuiely interested to know if there are any films that take a harder line on it than The Stranger. Apparently, while Welles himself stopped short of claiming that the only solution to the ‘German Problem’ was eradication, he did express serious misgivings about the idea that Germany could ever be rehabilitated by the means of social programmes.
It is interesting to watch The Stranger now because Germany itself seems to be going through a phase of cinematic introspection. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others (2006) tried to humanise East German bureaucracy by presenting it as a system characterised by very real human fears and emotions, Dennis Gansell’s Die Welle (2008) suggested that Fascism could just as easily appear now as it did in the 1930s and Uli Edel’s Der Baader Meinhoff Komplex (2008) treats with significant sympathy the idea that, had it not been for left-leaning terrorists, Germany might well have returned to Fascism in the 1970s.
My view is that Welles is almost correct. The Germans do secretly long to march beneath the banners of the Teutonic Knights, but then, so does every human being. Everyone wants ther opinions to be made law. Everyone wishes that their opponents would just ‘go away’.