Analysis / Inglourious Basterds

  • The way some interpreted the film is as something of a meditation on the cinema itself. When Shosanna says "This is the face of Jewish vengeance", she is referencing Hicox's conversation with Churchill on how Goebbels was trying to "take on the Jews at their own game": the cinema. Hicox says Goebbels was doing quite well, but ultimately it's a game Goebbels loses, not only because he gets killed by Jews in a cinema (with one of them taking over his own film to deliver their death sentence), but for all his Nazi-glorifying propaganda, Those Wacky Nazis have only occupied villain slots since the end of WW2, ranging from the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain to the worst of the worst. Ironically, Inglourious Basterds is one of the comparatively few films that does feature sympathetic Nazis and unsympathetic Allies. There are other references to the cinema as a medium throughout the film; when Landa's convoy arrives in the very first scene, they are revealed by an image of drawing aside a curtain; when Shosanna runs, she is framed through the door as if she's on a screen, plus the multiple in-universe references to films, directors and actors by various characters.