Skip to content

Fatherland * Christopher Menaul * 1994

Don’t confuse this TV-film with films with similar or even the same titles, I noticed there are a couple of them.

Fatherland is a political thriller that plays in Nazi-Germany, that is to say, an imaginary Nazi-Germany. The Nazis won WWII and Hitler now rules the biggest part of Europe as an empire that he called Gemania or “Das Neue Deutsche Reich”. He is close to turning 75 and not only big celebrations are prepared, but also the coming of the new American president Kennedy to Germania to revive the bonds between the two countries brings exiting times. The Germans are still fighting Russia in the East and Hitler needs America to make sure he will be able to keep and expand his empire. Most of the empire is peacefull and prosperous. The SS has become the police-force and the Gestappo is something similar to the FBI or CIA.
However the civilians are heavily indoctrinated and the Germanian government tells them what to think and to believe, decades of Nazi-government has made some people quite cynical and critical. Because of the coming of JFK for the first time since the beginning of WWII journalists are allowed in the Reich being carefully lead around in a tight program. One of them, Charlie Maguire (Miranda Richardson) is led to a trail that would mean the end of the Reich. A big secret that has costed many lifes and recently the lifes of a few high officers that know about it. One thing that is kept secret from the people is that hundreds of thousands of soldiers have already died in the war against Russia, but the biggest secret of them all, that almost nobody knows about is that six to seven million Jews have not been relocated to the East, but gassed and burned. Before JFK visits Germania, Hitler wanted to get rid off everybody who knows about this, but of course Maguire finds everything out just in time and shows photos to her president who leaves and the Reich falls to pieces. Maguire is helped by the SS-police-officer Xavier March (Rutger Hauer).

The idea is kind of nice. It is strange though that all Germanians speak English, or better said, American English. However newspapers, TV-reports are in German suggesting that the English language is only for the film, the Americans and Germans have no problems whatsoever to understand eachother.
Overall “Fatherland” is an entertaining film. A political thriller after American model placed in Nazi-Germany and with a not too far-fetched story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *