Napola, Elite für den Führer

Napola, Elite für den Führer ★★★
This film has been produced in English, but I, unfortunately, have only the German version. I was able to follow most of the speaking, though there were critical sections where I was totally unable to understand what was going on. Thus, my review may not be entirely accurate. It is a quasi-historical film (historical fiction) detailing a young boy, good at boxing, who is asked to enroll in a special school system that Hitler had set up to establish an elite system of education. This boy goes against the wishes of his parents to attend the school and does well at first until questions start arising. There is an unusually high attrition rate at the school, and certain classmates are treated in a very embarrassing fashion, such as the kid who occasionally has a problem with bedwetting. The turning point was when the students were asked to hunt down and shoot some young escaped Russian POWs. This led the star character to give up, and in the end, get thrown out of the school.
Reading the reviews of this movie, many comments on how this film represents a resurrection of rethinking some of the crimes of the past Nazi regime. I’m not sure such an episode is worth re-thinking. The mistake made in this film is that they do NOT engage in a re-thinking, but rather, a re-creation or a re-invention of what actually happened. They imply that young Germans actually knew better, that they had hearts and souls that defied the evil of their elders and wished to correct those evils. One wishes that were true, but such is not the case in any epoch, in any time, in any place. Such is human nature to defy the elders, but in such a fashion as to generate an even worse ethic or morality. So, Napola doesn’t satisfy the wish for a therapeutic re-think of past sins. It excuses the past by claiming that the youth really knew better, and often did act in defiance of Nazi policy. A few did, such as Sophie Scholl, but most did not.