Posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 by Devindra Hardawar
I’m currently trying to figure out my top ten list of 2009, but one film that I knew was going to be there from the moment I saw it was Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. I’ve yet to see some of the bigger releases this month, but as of this moment Basterds is definitely my favorite film of the year (I’m not saying it’s the outright best film this year — at least, not yet). I’m confident that this film will be analyzed for years to come because there’s definitely a lot going on underneath all the Nazi killing.
One very personal piece was recently written by Eli Roth’s father, Sheldon Roth, for the Jewish Journal. The piece concerns Roth’s final moments in the film, and is definitely spoiler filled right from the title.
Some excerpts, and more spoilers, after the break.
Roth’s father writes:
What I scarcely expected were the overwhelming feelings that flooded me as I witnessed the scene in the film, Inglourious Basterds. I watched my son, as his character of ‘The Bear Jew,’ machine gun the Fuhrer’s face to a bloody pulp. In that moment, I felt that my beloved boychik was carrying out wishes of mine from my Brownsville, Brooklyn childhood, wild longings from a lifetime of agonizing over the Holocaust. I felt a powerful mixture of rescue, revenge, redemption, relief and a strange grief. My son was sacrificing himself for all of us. He was doing what I could not. And I cried.
Overall, it’s a fascinating account of Tarantino’s history-defying ending from the eyes of someone who lived their entire life in the specter of the Holocaust. I also loved his reasoning on why we can’t just dismiss the ending as historically inaccurate:
It strikes me that what these questions fail to take into account is that there are two kinds of facts: historical facts and emotional ones. Emotional facts, or feelings, are a condensed, animal form of personal history; expanding them tells the story of one’s life. Feelings are just as much a reality as facts. Art, similarly, functions as a condensed statement about life. When art resonates with an audience, those emotions are real — they cannot be dismissed because the story is “historically inaccurate.” Quentin Tarantino understood it was more important to be emotionally accurate than to follow a story previously written by history.
Indeed, we’ve been fantasizing about killing Nazis since the end of World War II. Tarantino just took it one step further, and gave his audience the emotional catharsis of seeing Hitler obliterated before their very eyes.
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