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Before the Fall (Napola) back to product details

All About "Napola" (no, not the city in Italy)
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written by talltale June 18, 2006 - 9:45 AM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Consistently engrossing without always attaining believability or the kind of riveting attention one would expect (considering its subject matter), BEFORE THE FALL explores the "Napola," the elite Nazi schools for training "political" youth during World War II. We observe it all through the eyes of one talented, blond boxing whiz (who seems to have trouble following-through with his knock-out punches). His family is anti-Nazi, but he sees his main chance and goes for it--entering the school, making friends and observing teachers, students, trainers and administrators in the process.

For today's Germans, the movie may have unwrapped another bit of hidden history, though for foreigners acquainted with WWII, it will not produce much new insight. While the "Napola" has not been (so far as I know) explored via the entertainment realm, the exploration here uncovers little that's different from what we might expect--except for its look at what may have passed for "protest" during those terrible times. How did German youth cope with this "training," including the betrayal of friends, family and their own best selves? "Before the Fall" (a rather pointless title, but I guess the marketers felt that "Napola" might not entice viewers), gives us some clues. It's worth seeing, but tamp down any major expectations.

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(Average 8.31)
26 Votes
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