I watched Downfall this afternoon. It is a German film about the last days of Hitler and the Third Reich. I'd been wanting to watch the movie for a number of years, and when I saw that it was on TV last night, I decided to tape it. I figured taping it was best, since it was three and a half hours on TV, and I just don't have that great an attention span. Since the movie was subtitled, paying attention was necessary.
Despite having it on tape, where I could fast forward through commercials, I still had difficulty paying attention. It's not because I disliked the film (in fact, I loved it!), but it was because of the subject matter. I'm a huge history nerd. In University, I took a number of European history courses, primarily because I love World War II history. I find it fascinating. The film uses actual footage from an interview with Traudl Junge, one of Hitler's secretaries, and a main character in the film. Of course, I had to look her up. I read a number of Wikipedia pages pertaining to historical figures from the film, and events that occurred within the film.
I was watching the movie upstairs, so I had to pause the movie and get my lap top when I realized that I just had to read about Bruno Ganz, who plays Hitler in the movie. Then I realized that reading Wikipedia while watching a subtitled movie just didn't work well. So I kept having to pause the movie. That's alright, because I learned a lot from Wikipedia, and I had nothing else to do this afternoon anyway, so I could take my time watching the movie.
Yes, the movie was a long one, but it didn't feel long. As I've emphasized, the subject matter is fascinating to me, and it is presented well. The acting is fantastic. I'd actually been reading about the film a few days before during a spare moment at school, so I'm really glad it was on TV this weekend. I'd actually planned on adding it to my list of 200 movies to watch, but I'm just as happy to have gotten the opportunity to watch it earlier. The only issue I had was with the number of characters. I had trouble keeping track of the names of most of them, so I had to identify them by their faces and actions. But that wasn't a big deal at all.
If you haven't seen Downfall yet, check it out. It's excellent.