Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Documentary Film of the Day - Blind spot: Hitler's Secretary

In honor of Some Guy's Hiatus and in celebration of his 15 millionth post, I thought I'd steal one of his ideas. So here's my Documentary of the day:

Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary
Doc recently bought a book from the library bookstore called Never Coming to a Theater Near You, which we kept in the john and would read (since we couldn't read Some Guy's Blog on the toilet). There's a large section of the book dedicated to documentary film, which ordinarly makes my eyes roll back into my head and I'm not well again until I watch a few episodes of the Golden Girls or "Idol Gives Back." But one happened to catch my eye: the eponymous Blind Spot.
The review was so compelling, I went to the library, found it the dvd in the catalog and had it sent from the main library to my little local branch. Now Doc and I are movie buffs from way back, but in the past, oh, seven years or so, we seem to have lost the habit. More often, we'll get DVD's of TV shows, pop one in and pass out after the opening credits. But we were both so jazzed about this particular documentary that I was hoping it would be something we could watch together. Of course, the subject matter is perfect for a romantic night at home...
The movie was due back at the library yesterday, so I was determined to watch it. We put the movie on at about 11:00 p.m. and it was in German. Totally. No subtitles. So, I searched the menu, added English subtitles and we were off and running.
This movie is basically a film of Traudl Junge, one of Hitler's secretary who was stationed at his bunker, speaking directly to an interviewer about her experience from the time she was hired until Hitler's final days and her escape. There are some cut away scenes where she is watching footage of herself talking and she interjects with a correction, more detail, or a restatement of her feelings in hindsight. But that's it. No music. No narration.
It's remarkable. And creepy. It's very personal and she gives quite an insight to what kind of person Hitler was and how he could be a nice guy even if he was killing a bunch of innocent people. She was obviously struggling to relate her experience while history and hindsight lurked over her shoulder.
As Chris might say, "I highly recommend it." And to quote him again: "Documentaries have exposed me to so many new and interesting things. Like one of the women in the video says, documentaries 'have the power to make you empathize with things you never really knew you could empathize with.'" If there ever was a documentary to make you empathize with things you never really knew you could empathize with...this one is it.
Congratulations, Some Guy on your 15,000,000th post! Cheers and Gesundheit!


  1. Thank you very much! This one isn't on Netflix so I'll have to figure out how to get my library to get it for me. It sounds like something I'd like to see.

  2. How the hell did you find my mom???

  3. I totally agree, I'm hooked on the Documentaries too and after watching Whole I ended up empathizing with people who don't feel whole unless they have a limb cut off. Crazy.

    Also I just watched Air Guitar Nation about an international competition in, you guessed it, Air Guitar. (Some Guy probably recommended it, I can't remember.) Anyway, my thoughts about people who would enter this competition definitely changed by the end of the show. You and Doc might get a kick out of that one.