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SWASTIKA

UK, 1973 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Philippe Mora

Swastika is a two-hour compilation film, directed by the 23-year-old Australian, Philippe Mora, from captured Nazi documentaries, and incorporating selected sequences from home movies made by Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress and doomsday bride-to-be.

Aided by a University lecturer and specialist in German film, Lutz Becker, who discovered the Eva Braun footage in the army vaults in Washington, Mora selected his material from 250 hours of Nazi documentaries and propaganda films, some of them the best photographed footage of their period. Unlike many political documentaries of this kind, Swastika is presented without a commentary, allowing the original material to speak for itself.

The Eva Braun home movies, taken at Hitler's Berchestgaden mountain lair, show Hitler at his most relaxed, surrounded by his closest associates—Ribbentrop, Goebbels, Speer, Heidrich, Himmler, Bormann. The films were silent and the producers called in German speaking lip-readers to decipher the Fiihrer's conversation. Where they failed, they have resorted to records of Hitlers table talk, then dubbed it in in German voices. Thus, the Berchestgaden set's conversation is revealed as tea-party chatter.

Philippe Mora is a painter and film maker who, for the last five years, has lived in London. Swastika is his second feature; he directed his first film, Trouble in Molopolis, in 1970.

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