Der Untergang (2004)
Der Untergang is proof that if you've got historical material powerful enough, a somewhat weak dramatic and narrative structure will be less harmful than in an ordinary fiction film. Hirschbiegel's film is comprehensive beyond its powers and has at times difficulties staying focused, but there are so much important and harrowing packed inside that it rises above its problems. Bruno Ganz' performance is close to caricature, but also profoundly and disturbingly accurate and expressive. He is in the centre of a thorough and unbiased examination of the final days of what was left of Hitler's Nazi-regime. Hirschbiegel wants to look into the deranged minds of the likes of Hitler, Eva Braun, Mr. and Mrs. Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Fegelein and succeeds remarkably well at times. Der Untergang is not a testament to the politics of or the suffering imposed by the Third Reich, but rather a portrait of a group of people putrefying from inside and going down with their distorted beliefs still in control of them. Matthes and Kretschmann highlight a superb supporting cast in this at times compelling, and constantly interesting film.