Acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino is remaking “Inglorious Bastards”
But the film project by the US director of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, which is a remake of a 70s war film by Enzo Castellaris, has already created a furious response from German critics. One said the effects of the “collision” between pulp fiction and Nazi barbarity were “completely unpredictable”.
The film depicts scalpings, disembowelment and swastikas being engraved in foreheads as a group of American Jewish soldiers are airdropped into Nazi-occupied Europe to wreak revenge on the Germans.
“This is pop culture meets Nazi Germany and the Holocaust with an unprecedented force,” wrote the film critic of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Tobias Kniebe, in an attempt to sum up the explosive effect the film is likely to have in Germany.
The trouble is that little distinction is made between Nazi and German, ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers or SS officers, to the extent that if the script is anything to go by, there is no such thing as a good German and all of them have to die.
It’s quite obvious that Tarantino will be putting forward a manichean look at WW2 in which Germans represent dark forces without any individuality nor saving graces and need to be exterminated without prejudice while the Americans represent the forces of light. Naturally such a clear distinction will upset Germans who reject the notion that all Germans were responsible for the actions of the Nazis, a position put forward most notably by Jonah Goldhagen. And being Tarantino, the sadism in the movie will be gory and preposterous, in keeping with the style he first displayed in Resevoir Dogs.
The key here will be to see what kind of character development will be allowed for the Germans in this film. Will they be allowed to have a bit of flair attached to the sadism? Or will they be robotic automatons thus rendering the movie a simple comic book?