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Film / De Nuremberg Nuremberg

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De Nuremberg à Nuremberg (From Nuremberg to Nuremberg) is a 1989 French documentary in two parts directed by Frédéric Rossif (who made To Die in Madrid in the same vein before) and narrated by journalist Philippe Meyer, with a soundtrack by Vangelis. It is mostly made of archive footage, all in black and white.

It broadly chronicles the history of Nazi Germany from its rise to its fall, including of course World War II and The Holocaust. Some parts focus on the War in Asia and the Pacific, but the documentary's heart is mostly about the war Adolf Hitler waged in Europe and eventually lost, the countless woes and atrocities that came with it and its immediate aftermath when the regime's surviving leaders faced justice.

The film opens with imposing national-socialist party rallies and agressive speeches by some the party's heads in Nuremberg in 1934 (many were taken from Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will) and ends with the trials that took place in the ruins of the same city in 1945-1946 (hence the title).


Two versions of the film exist, a 180 minutes-long and a 238 minutes-long.

Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Blatant Lies: Some of Hitler's speeches concerning his intentions to "respect the neutrality" of some of Germany's neighbor countries and the "good relations with Poland" are featured. No, really. Cue footage of said countries being invaded.
  • Bookends: The film starts with national-socialist rallies in the city of Nuremberg in 1934 and ends with the trials in the same city in ruins just over a decade later.
    • The infamous Nuremberg Laws are also evoked at the beginning. Fast forward to the end, with footage and pictures showing the results of The Holocaust.
  • The Quisling: The Trope Namer is mentioned, as well as some famous examples like Philippe Pétain.
  • La Résistance: At various stages, photos of famous resistants (either political/intellectual opponents or fighters) who died are shown, with the narrator reciting a quote from them.
  • Stock Footage: Plenty of it was used, from Leni Riefenstahl's 1930s propaganda films to German and Allied newsreels, as well as footage of the concentration and death camps that was used as proof during the trials of Nuremberg.
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  • Stock Sound Effects: Most of the war sounds (diving planes, gunshots, artillery shots...) are not from the original footage and were added when the movie was edited.
  • Stuka Scream: Used in footage with actual Stukas, but not limited to them. The most glaring example is its use during the Japanese Kamikaze sequence. The A6M "Zero" did not sound like this.
  • Tagline: From director Frédéric Rossif: "J'ai conçu ce film pour réveiller les mémoires." ("I conceived this movie to awaken memories.")
  • Two-Act Structure: The 180 minutes version is divided in two parts, alluding to Nazi Germany's situation during the war: La Fête et le Triomphe (Celebration and Triumph, 1933-1942) and La Défaite et le Jugement (Defeat and Judgement, 1942-1945). The turning points are the battles of El Alamein and Stalingrad.


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