Research Paper: Mephisto: Film

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[. . .] This is such a revelatory notion because it provokes the idea of the artificial, and of the capacity of a human being to embrace the artificial and identify with the artificial -- this could be seen as a metaphor for fascism in general.

Another theme that the film appears to experiment with, is the idea of evil being allowed to flourish when good people do nothing. For instance, the aversion of the characters towards the Nazis is well established: the characters assert that they feel the Nazis are thugs and brutes. There's a clear us vs. them mentality which is established.

Even so, the film documents how the Nazis are able to come to power: through the lack of action of good people willing to stop them. For example, Juliette asks what the Jews are planning against Germany. This is such a provocative question because in hindsight we see that the Jews planned virtually nothing against Germany. This reveals so much about the situation: evil was allowed to flourish, and thus it did flourish. Other elements of the film which strengthened this notion revolved around the idea of characters remarking about how they thought there was nothing to fear about the Nazis, and yet, we see the character of Barbara telling Henrik that the Nazis won the election. This is so ominous, as the average viewer understand that it signifies the Nazis coming to power. The view sees how a career in the arts is no longer possible: everything becomes reduced to the notion of fighting.

Other concepts that the film deals with are the ideas of freedom and love and how to be able to identify them in their purest form. When Henrik plays Hamlet, the motif of the necessity of action of good people to fight against injustice becomes even more prevalent, as it was Hamlet who had to take action against the injustice of his father's death. This is one of the final pieces of symbolism that the film plays with. The moody lighting and the shadowy color correction of the entire film help to present this point to the audience at large.

Ultimately, Mephisto is a ballad against fascism and falseness. It is an attempt to work hard against despair and dishonesty. It is also a warning against evil: If people are to work hard against the forces of evil, the must do so proactively, not just in words but in deed as well. This is particularly true because factors like identity and integrity seem more malleable than people might like to think. That is at least how Szabo's film presents them.

References

Svabo, I. (1981) Mephisto. Cinegate… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Mephisto: Film.  (2014, February 28).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mephisto-film/2477779

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"Mephisto: Film."  28 February 2014.  Web.  25 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mephisto-film/2477779>.

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"Mephisto: Film."  Essaytown.com.  February 28, 2014.  Accessed May 25, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mephisto-film/2477779.