Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Reich Underground (2004)

Original title: Das Unterirdische Reich. Die Geheimen Welten der Nazis

Director: Michael Kloft

Writer: Michael Kloft

Composer: Clemens Winterhalter

Starring: Peter Buchholz

More info: IMDb

Plot: Near the end of World War II, the Third Reich constructed a secret massive underground tunnel system. Today, experts explore the contents of the tunnels and examine the inhuman conditions the involuntary workers were forced to endure.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? No.

It's not shocking to know that the Nazis were big time into making these mammoth underground cave systems for factories, storage, etc. While they were being built early on in the war, in 1943 they really started to ramp up construction and on a huge scale.  Using forced labor, thousands upon thousand died during construction.   It's interesting to see these gargantuan underground systems.  Some are in great shape while others have been sealed and abandoned for nearly 70 years.  Architecturally, they're not attractive but very plain and functional so in the hour and forty two minutes of film you get to see a lot of them but don't expect an awful lot of variety.  With that, though, the film makers do a fine job in presenting the many locations and the uses they were built to serve.  And they built these things everywhere it seems.  There was even one under Hitler's home in Berchtesgaden but never used.
There's a music theme used over and over that I'd swear I've heard before and in another WWII documentary.  Despite used repeatedly in this film, it doesn't overstay its welcome which is surprising.  It's currently on Netflix streaming and if you're wanting to see a different aspect of the Nazi war machine then this will fit the bill.

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