Nazi sci-fi film proving a big talking point at Berlin Film Festival

February 17, 2012

Movies

From the file marked “Hmm, now that’s a bit bizarre” comes the news that a Finnish sci-fi movie which hangs its premise on Nazis invading Earth has become a smash hit at, of all places, the Berlin Film Festival.

The somewhat familiar US President in "Iron Sky", Image via BBC

While the Festival usually prides itself on screening fairly highbrow fare (A Separation – an Iranian drama documenting the crumbling of a marriage took home the festival’s top award last year) the spoof movie, called Iron Sky, has already become the main talking point of this year’s event.

Much of the hoopla in the run up to the launch of the Festival had been the fact that it would host the first screening of Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut – In the Land of Blood and Honey – however, the fact that the actress and her partner Brad Pitt took the time to catch a screening of Iron Sky seems to have caught the imagination of many bloggers as much as her own film did.

Enough about the column inches the film has been garnering though – what’s it actually about? Well, it’s the usual fare for this sort of thing really – a group of Nazis escape to the moon at the end of World War II to plan a new assault, before coming face to face with an American astronaut in 2018 setting in place all kinds of events, including the American President declaring war on them. The movie’s other talking points include a US President that closely resembles Sarah Palin and a navy cruiser named the USS George W. Bush.

Despite the fact that the movie’s plot is, by design, fairly ludicrous, many have been quick to point out that there are obvious correlations between the film and the popular conspiracy theory that the Nazis had developed a comprehensive UFO project whilst World War II was taking place. The film’s director, Timo Vuorensola has been quick to distance himself from the theory though, calling the movie a “stupid joke”.

A fair percentage of the international press have heralded the success of the film as a sign that Germany as a whole is close to being at peace with some of the aspects of its gruesome past, however journalists in Germany themselves aren’t convinced as a whole yet.

Kerstin Sopke of the Associated Press said: “Although I heard that audiences were laughing out loud, in my screening…it wasn’t like that. It’s still a delicate subject here, and you have to be really careful how it’s done. I was a little bit wary, but actually I think they did the comedy well.”

It’s not all been praise though – London’s Time Out magazine called the film: “A crude slapstick romp wholly lacking in charm, wit or excitement” and Andrew Pulver of the Guardian claimed that the film was “not nearly as funny or cruel as its killer premise suggests”.

One thing’s for certain though, even if the film isn’t up to much, it’s generating quite the online buzz, and could yet see a widespread release. Here’s the trailer here:

What do you think, are you offended by the idea, or do you think it makes for good comedic fare? Let us know below!

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