Fateful Struggle DVD (Schicksalskampf)
FATEFUL STRUGGLE (Schicksalskampf)
Combining archival battle footage and never-before-seen interviews with highly decorated veterans from all branches of the Wehrmacht (army, navy, and air force, as well as the Waffen-SS) Fateful Struggle is a provocative documentary that relates how German frontline soldiers felt about the Second World War during its second half, from the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 to Germany's unconditional surrender on May 8th, 1945. Fifty-six German veterans-including Luftwaffe fighter pilot Adolf Galland; Rudolf von Ribbentrop, son of German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop; and Claus Cordsen, Escort Commando of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler-reflect half a century later on what they knew at the time: the war had been lost and they were now engaged in purely defensive actions. By exploring the soldiers' motives for continuing to fight despite increasingly desperate military situations, the film reveals the "fateful struggle" these warriors waged to survive the war with their honor intact, despite propaganda appeals urging them on to either victory or death. Director Dirk Alt, a historian specializing in WWII moving images and film heritage, states during the film's opening moments that Fateful Struggle is neither a conventional documentary nor does it deliver objective reporting. Fateful Struggle is unique in its exclusive focus on a German perspective. The uncensored interviews of the Nazi combat generation were originally filmed during the 1990s for an oral-history project that was not intended for publication. The soldiers talk plainly and openly, without fear of censorship or the necessity for "political correctness", presenting views that would have been deleted from most other documentaries. A bombastic electronic score by the German cult band Wappenbund sharpens the tension. Written and directed by Dirk Alt. Music soundtrack by Wappenbund.
Germany, 2019, B&W/Color, 92 Minutes, German Narration, and interviews with English subtitles.
- INTERVIEWEE SLIDESHOW
- BONUS SHORT: Jochen Comes on Home Leave - Rare, never-released short film made in 1943 by a young soldier serving on the Russian front. Events include a traditional Ukrainian wedding, battle scenes from the Battle of Kursk in which the young soldier-filmmaker took part, and finally the young man's leave, which he spends with his parents. 9.5mm home movie written and directed by J.F. Germany, 1943, B&W, 8 Minutes. German title cards, English narration. (This well-edited home movie was shot in 9.5mm, a film gauge once popular among filmmakers and film collectors in Germany, France, and England. A striking difference between 9.5mm and other film gauges is its sprocket holes-which allow the film to be transported past the film gate, projecting the image onto a screen. These are not located along the edge of the film, as they are with other gauges, but in the very middle of the film strip, situated between the frame images themselves. Such 9.5mm sprocket holes can sometimes be glimpsed on screen, as is the case here. Although 9.5mm sounds closer to 8mm than 16mm, it in fact offers an image that is very close to 16mm in size. As a result, Jochen Comes on Home Leave gives us a very satisfying, sharp image.)
Libraries and Institutions Please Note: Educational Editions with PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS and DIGITAL SITE LICENSES are available.
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)