We can’t add anything to that

TBOGG takes care of this Dennis Prager assertion better than we ever could:

Did you ever notice that there are no Germans going around the world saying, or making movies about, how awful Germany is or has been? Given that Germany unleashed two world wars and invented industrialized genocide, why has there been no German Michael Moore?

Get your answer here.


Comments: 10


Jeez. Has Prager ever even looked at the German section at his local video store? It’s hard to find a movie that doesn’t talk about how awful Germany has been. Stalingrad, Die Bruecke, The Tin Drum, Hanussen, Zentropa…I could go on for days. Same can be said for the Japanese.

Dennis seems to be taking his role of moron to lofty new heights.


Here in Sweden, it’s gospel that only Swedes whine about their country and have no pride in it at all.

I don’t think it’d be the least bit difficult to find one popular work of art per country that criticizes it’s own nation – except maybe in North Korea, and the like.

Which says a lot about Prager’s attitude.


Sure is nice of them to have a contact line at the end of the posts. I always use it to point up their complete moronitude. And do they ever thank me? You know the rest


Well, I’m shocked by Prager’s ignorance, ’cause, you know, he’s such a lover of German cinema.


Prager might want to consider in this connection, of course, that display of the swastika or any other Nazi symbols or the giving of the salute are explicitly banned by German law, making the making and exhibition of such movies within German territory a little difficult. Usually they have to go to Austria.


Actually, Prager might be right in that there is no German Michael Moore ? the typical German filmgoer is smart and educated enough to be receptive to films that do this artfully and allegorically, rather than in the sort of hamfisted way Moore chooses to make his points.

And if he really needs convincing, there?s one German film that really addresses this head-on, Die Schreckliche M?dchen, a/k/a The Nasty Girl. But he may find it hits too close to home.


Yeah, I was going to mention The Nasty Girl, too. Dennis Prager is a tool.


A few reasons why there isn’t a German Michael Moore:
– There are and have been so many German writers, film-makers, journalists etc. critical of their own country, its past and present policies etc. that its hardly a distinctive trait. Karl Marx once remarked of John Stuart Mills that he was outstanding in his field because of the plain that surrounded him – similarly, Michael Moore stands out in the American context because at least among those noticed by the bulk of the US public, few come close to Moore’s level of “provocativeness”.

– There’s not that much point for a German going abroad to speak or make films about how awful Germany has been, because a) people there already know that (having for the most part witnessed it first-hand in one or both World Wars), and b) these countries are quite well-supplied with works produced in these countries and other countries (e.g. there have been many excellent German movies that have covered many negative aspects of German history in the 20th century, but most of these never had a chance on the US market as there are plenty Hollywood and US TV productions covering the same ground – also of course, many of the more radical German critics of Germany are or were so radical that because the political center of gravity in America is to the right of that in Germany, they would find themselves unwelcome in the US. (Consider the case of many anti-Nazi emigrants from Germany whose departure from the the US was very much hastened in the Cold War, e.g. Bertolt Brecht or Heinrich Mann).

– “Official Germany” as it manifests itself in politicians’ speeches, the setting up of monuments and naming of streets, in commemorative ceremonies (e.g. on the anniversaries of the “Reichskristallnacht” and of the liberation of Auschwitz) shows enough awareness of what Germans did in the 20th century that there is not much chance of raising a scandal that would incense the right wing and cause tut-tutting from the mainstream media in the way that Michael Moore’s films and books do in America.

– As for present-day Germany, a Moore-level criticism of that would either be so radical that it would provide no comfort to Prager and his ilk (because it would also attack Germany’s close ally, the US) or even if the hypothetical “Michael Mohr” gave Bush and his administration a free pass, he would still betray too much love of his country and paint too nuanced a picture that would only be confusing to American right-wingers feeling comfortable with the simplistic images of countries like France and Germany presented in the media of their choice.


Having lived in Germany twice for extended periods, I was of exactly the opposite opinion: I was rather sick of going to films that all seemed to fixate on on German “crimes” during the century. My two tours were a decade apart and the second tour was in Frankfurt, so part of it was living in Hesse, but still and all, I wanted to yell: “lighten up”.


Omg. Do these people come from a pod or something?


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