Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Taking Sides

(France/UK/Germany/Austria, 2001)

The story of the post-war questioning of Wilhelm Furtwangler, a famous German conductor who may or may not have been a Nazi collaborator. He’s not as well-known as Leni Riefenstahl, probably because he died in 1955. The theme is much like Vonnegut’s Mother Night: be careful what you pretend to be. But Vonnegut’s story was much better. I ended up more sympathetic to Furtwangler than to his interrogator, played by Harvey Keitel, who bullied and manipulated like the Gestapo. The whole movie seemed muddled, didn’t come down on one side or the other. That can be good, I don’t need a pat answer, but this seemed simply confused rather than thought-provoking.