Review of Jud Süß

Jud Süß (1940)
5/10
Bad and Beautiful
31 August 2005
This film can be viewed from several different angles, and it indeed is. First of all, it's by no means a bad film, meaning - it's very aptly directed, and the narrative runs smoothly. Some of the leading actors are very good, especially Ferdinand Marian, who doesn't stoop to anything banal and draws us a fascinating portrait of a man you can both hate and love. Then there are the shots where German people have had enough of his cunning mastermind, and take justice in their own hands. Of course, when one is immersed in the film, you would do the same. Which means, the film works as it is meant. But then - one is always allowed to ask oneself whether it was impossible for this kind of thing to happen in 1730s Germany. I think it wasn't. I think we can watch this film, and hate the bad guy, without automatically deciding to hate every Jew in the world. After all, there are hundreds of films produced in Hollywood, where the bad guy is Russian or who ever. I do think we as human race are sufficiently grown to leave our emotions in the cinema auditorium and not be influenced by something that we know is not right.
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