Koch on Film


By Ed Koch

Volume 75, Number 15 | Aug. 31 – Sep 06, 2005

Koch On Film

“The Goebbels Experiment” (+)

This documentary on Joseph Goebbels is worth seeing. He was an evil man who hated the Jews with a ferocity equal to Hitler’s.

The film has Kenneth Branagh reading from Goebbels diary and reporting news clips as well as showing Nazi Party and Wehrmacht films. Interestingly, while near the end of the film Goebbels writes of the need to stop the USSR “Mongol Army” nearing the gates of Berlin, the diary, or at least the portion that was read, does not mention the battle of Stalingrad. At one point, after writing how well things are going on the Russian front, he does write that when he went to that front and spoke with the soldiers, they conveyed an unease for the future. As we all should recognize, without the willingness of the Russians to fight against all odds and ultimately lose 10 million soldiers and 17 million civilians in the war, it is doubtful that England and the United States could have managed a victory on their own against the Nazis.

Goebbels’ wife gave their six children poison to drink, and then she and Goebbels committed suicide. Goebbels was burned in a gasoline fire set by his own Nazi guards. The Russian soldiers who found the bodies took films of the scene.

Sixty years later the virus of anti-Semitism still lives, less perhaps in Germany but more strongly in Great Britain and France. They, who had been muted for some time because of World War II and the discovery of the concentration and death camps, are once again without fear telling the world of their hatred of Jews. Remember what Pastor Martin Niemoller of Germany said after the war when explaining what happens to people who stand by and allow others to be assaulted, persecuted and murdered — ultimately they come for you.

Every so often, a film on the history of the Nazis and their evil works should be seen to remind us of what they wanted to do and how close they came to achieving their goal. It is worth subjecting yourself to the experience by seeing this film.

“Secuestro Express” (+)

The title of this film means “Kidnap Express,” and it refers to what frequently occurs in Venezuela. Often an expensive car of a wealthy individual is stolen. Other times, wealthy individuals and their cars are abducted and speedy ransoms and returns of the victims follow.

In this movie, a wealthy young man, Martin (Jean Paul Leroux), and his girlfriend, Carla (Mia Maestro), are kidnapped by Trece (Carlos Julio Molina), Budu (Pedro Perez), and Niga (Carlos Madera). All five individuals use cocaine and other drugs before and during the kidnapping.

The kidnappers buy their drugs from a wholesaler who has the role of a flaming ‘queen.’ On seeing Martin, he demands as part of the sale that he have a half-hour alone with Martin for sexual purposes. The three kidnappers also threaten Martin and Carla with rape. Niga makes it clear that he is unable to sexually perform but wants to hear Carla moan which will satisfy him. Trece is more decent in his relations with Carla. A situation occurs involving Carla’s dad (Ruben Blades) reminiscent of the Patti Hearst kidnapping.

If true, the corruption of the Venezuelan cops depicted in this film appears equal to that reported of the Federales in Mexico. This is a violent and bloody movie with very strong language and sadistic situations. It is not for everybody, but if the genre attracts you, you won’t find one much better than this.

–Ed Koch