Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"Kriegerin" (2011)

If there is something you can count on in critically acclaimed European movies, it is utterly depressing storylines. In “Kriegerin” you can understand though, because it explores the lives of neo-Nazis in the economically depressed eastern Germany.

The story centers around two girls. Marisa is a twenty year-old who is completely caught up in the Nazi ideology and anger. Svenja is only fourteen and just starting to explore the hate. Marisa hates the refugees that are arriving in her town. She refuses to help them out at the store where she works. And, after a fight she runs a motorcycle with refugee brothers on it off the road. The guilt she feels over that act—as well as concerns she may have killed one of them—causes her to begin to doubt her worldview.

This movie does a good job of exposing the irrational hate of the Nazi ideology, as well as the bored, lack of purpose that drives the young people to its empty promises. Svenja isn’t attracted to the far right politics, but to a crowd that accepts her that isn’t her parents. Marisa had never questioned her grandfather’s ideas until she actually met some of the people she was supposed to hate.

But, in true European cinema fashion, don’t count on any of the learning the characters do to lead to a happy ending. There are no happy endings without hope, and what makes neo-Nazi ideology so attractive to young people is the hopelessness of the culture in general.

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