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Today's quote:

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

And it still works today!

Look out for the old man with glasses and cap who, when the people were standing up for the chorus, has a look of resignation on his face which seems to say, "Here we go again!"
(Lucky for you, the Treaty of Versailles stipulated that they could only sing it in English.)


In the movie 'Cabaret' two men, Brian and Max, find themselves on the patio of a beer garden. Suddenly a young tenor voice, clear and sweet, begins to sing a folk song extolling Germany's natural beauty. The crowd quietens down to listen.

The camera cuts to the youth's blond Aryan head, then slowly pans down to reveal a swastika on his left arm and his full Nazi uniform. He sings, "Your children have waited to see / The morning will come when the world is mine / Tomorrow belongs to me."

Most films that portray how the Nazis came to power focus on Adolf Hitler. 'Cabaret' is one of a handful of movies that show how ordinary people experienced the Nazi takeover in Germany.

The 'Tomorrow Belongs To Me' scene is deliberately provocative. It reveals to us the uncomfortable truth of how easily propaganda can be accepted. More people are galvanised by the song, until pretty much everyone in that beer garden is standing up singing along. Now it’s too late. They’ve been swept up by Nazi propaganda. It is difficult to imagine how the direction of this scene could be better. It reveals, mostly through its editing, the way in which propaganda operates.

At the end of this clip, Brian asks Max, "Do you still think that you can control them?" As if to make a comment, the film then cuts back to the emcee. He looks up, faces the viewer, smiles that leering smile, and nods. The nod isn’t meant to answer Brian's question, but rather to acknowledge what the audience is thinking. Yes, the emcee seems to say, this is just how it came about. And it still works today!

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