Two Dictatorships in Film Film Review by Nicky

Two Dictatorships in Film
A look at how dictatorships were portrayed in film.
# 148962 | 2,350 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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This paper explores how some films portrayed totalitarian dictatorships, two in Nazi German and the other in Stalinist Russia. First, the paper analyzes the film "The Tin Drum," which was set in Nazi Germany. According to the review, in this film the young protagonist of the film, Oskar, reacts to the growing chaos around him and decides never to grow up. Next, the paper considers "Diamonds of the Night," a Czech film about Nazi German which examines the concept of blind followers. Finally, the paper analyzes the film "The Stalker" which illustrates the feeling in Europe after the war. The paper concludes by stating that these films demonstrate the brutality and ideologies of these dictatorships, and the effect they had on the people and the countries.

From the Paper:

"Clearly, Nazism had its roots in Hitler spreading his ideology, but he had to have support, and he gained that support by rallying the people and convincing them of his ideas. In a way, it is as if they were lambs or lemmings, ready to believe anything from a charismatic if not obsessed man, who made them feel important and as if they were better than the Jews they rounded up so willingly. What this shows is that people can be easily swayed, and they do not question as much as they should, they blindly follow instead. That is how both of these leaders gained a following - they preyed on the weak and easily manipulated, and waited for them to convince others of their beliefs.
""Diamonds of the Night," a Czech film, continues this theme of blind followers, as well. Two young Jews escape from a train heading to a Nazi concentration camp, and the film follows their horrifying four-day attempt to escape a vigilante search party searching for them over the theft of a loaf of bread. Of course, the underlying theme here is the Nazis and their blind faith in following their leader, even if it meant murdering millions of innocent people. That is shown in the scene with the ants crawling on the boys' hands and face. They follow the one in front of them without knowing why or where they are going, and this symbolizes how people decide to follow a dictator like Stalin or Hitler. Both of these dictatorships gained large followings in a relatively short amount of time, as these films indicate."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Closely Watched Trains. Dir. Jiri Menzel. Perf. Vaclav Neckar, Josef Somr, Vlastimil Brodsky. Filmove Studio Barrandov, 1966.
  • Diamonds of the Night. Dir. Jan Nemec. Perf. Ladislav Jansky, Antonin Kumbera, Irma Bischofova. Ceskoslovensky Filmexport, 1964.
  • Pauley, Bruce F. Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini: Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century. 2nd ed. Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson, 2003.
  • Stalker. Dir. Andrei Tarkovski. Perf. Aleksandr Kaidanovsky, Alisa Frejndlikh, Anatoli Solonitsyn. Mosfilm, 1979.
  • The Tin Drum. Dir. Volker Schlondorff. Perf. Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, David Bennent. Argos Films, 1979.

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Two Dictatorships in Film (2011, November 16) Retrieved March 20, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Two Dictatorships in Film" 16 November 2011. Web. 20 March. 2023. <>