The Goebbels Experiment

Das Goebbels-Experiment / Lutz Hachmeister / Germany / 2004 / 107 min / German

The name Goebbels stands for unbridled, cynical and - at least partially - successful propaganda. It's a convenient label, regularly used to brand politicians as evil rabble-rousers and polemicists. But Joseph Goebbels' life was more enigmatic and unsettling than his current classification as propaganda genius or 'inveterate liar of the Third Reich' would suggest, and here we see how Goebbels constantly stage-managed his life and reinvented himself, from his beginnings as a 'National Socialist' to his suicide with his wife and children. Unusually, for a documentary, it abstains from the use of commentary - the diary that Goebbels kept from 1924 to 1945 is the only 'voice' in the film. In particular, the film succeeds in conveying the gestures and facial expressions of this manic-depressive man, creating the picture of a modern media manager who devoted his workaholic personality to the whole spectrum of communication - only to fail so completely in political and moral terms.

producer | Lutz Hachmeister
screenplay | Lutz Hachmeister
camera | Hajo Schomerus
editor | Guido Krajewski
sound | Marcello Busse, Rainer Gerlach, Kevin Granahan
music | Hubert Bittman