Thursday, March 1, 2018

Allied 2016: Glamorous, Sexy, Admirable Nazi Spy

My book, Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype argues that stereotypical brutal, superstitious, primitive, Polish, Catholic peasants are often labeled as the most significant authors of the Holocaust, while stereotypically clean, rational, modern German Nazis are whitewashed. This process occurs in academia, in popular culture, in journalism, and on discussion boards.

Perhaps the most shocking redemption of German Nazis occurs in the film Decision before Dawn. You can read a blog post about that film here. The whitewashing of German Nazis can be found in more recent films, such as Black Book, The Reader and The Exception.

In the 2016 film Allied, Marion Cotillard plays a French woman spying for the Nazis. She marries Brad Pitt. Pitt's superiors discover that she is a Nazi spy. They order him to shoot her dead. In a final, noble, heart-wrenching gesture, after kissing her and Pitt's baby goodbye, Cotillard shoots herself dead, sparing Pitt the nasty deed. The scene takes place in an airport. It is meant to evoke the final scene of Casablanca. That final scene was all about noble self-sacrifice. The most noble person in this film is a Nazi spy.

At no point does the movie make any effort to explain why spying for the Nazis was a rotten thing to do. The only heartless killing in the film is carried out by Pitt, an Allied soldier, and Cotillard, when aiding Pitt. They murder nice Nazis with whom they had previously socialized. The nice Nazis are shown to look quite sad on camera before they die.

The only human suffering shown in the film is a British soldier, Guy Sangster, played by Matthew Goode. Goode wears gruesome face make-up to indicate the cost of war on soldiers. He cries alone in the hospital, and says he feels betrayed by Great Britain.

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Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
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