We need another Holocaust movie like we need another Uwe Boll movie.
Holocaust cinema is tricky business, and prolific filmmaker / provocateur (maybe it should be the other way around) "Dr." Uwe Boll - widely regarded as the worst director alive - hasn't exactly proven that he's the right man to tackle such thorny matters. He's actually made a reputation (and to a lesser extent, a career) of proving the exact opposite. And now he's set his sights on Auschwitz. As a Jew, a cinephile, and a person I fervently believe that no historical episode should be protected from filmic representation, but after watching the NSFW trailer even Neo-Nazis might be shaking their heads going, "Seriously Uwe, I think they've been through enough."
I don't think that there's anything inherently wrong with Boll making a Holocaust film, the whole thing just seems mighty unnecessary. Boll has routinely illustrated that he's a filmmaker without either talent or vision, and people will understandably assume that his latest project will add absolutely nothing to the discourse. I want to pretend that the visceral Hunger-esque approach evidenced in the trailer or Boll's decision to cast himself as a Nazi guard might make for an interesting portrait of guilt or complicity, but it's tough to watch images of the German filmmaker locking people in a confined space and causing them to suffer and think of them as anything more than a perfect metaphor for Boll's career.
Boll claims he wants to "Show Auschwitz as what it was: a meatplant for humans... a death factory," and unless you were under the impression that Auschwitz was actually a Club Med with bad PR, such a film just seems superfluous (to be generous). But if the trailer is any suggestion, the film won't just be negated by the likes of Alain Resnais' Night and Fog, it'll make me want to watch Night and Fog as a palette-cleanser. Boll was able to get away with some controversial stuff in Postal under the guise of satire, and his recent stabs at sincerity like Darfur (you know this is the definitive cinematic comment on the genocide in Darfur because it stars Billy Zane) suggest that he might be able to broach serious subjects without mocking them. But I'm more convinced that Auschwitz will be boring and facile than offensive, although I'm not really that concerned about either because - like most of Boll's films - it'll probably never get a stateside release, anyway.
Check out the trailer (via Twitch) if you've got the stomach for it and let us know what you think. Would you give the guy a chance, or are you offended at the very thought of him going anywhere near the Holocaust? Or are you officially ready for him to just go away forever?
(trailer removed. check it elsewhere if you like.) - Scott Weinberg