Review this movie
Mar 2, 2013The Rape of Europa is a fascinating documentary that tells of the story of the theft, destruction, and in some cases saving of art during World War II. Narrated by Joan Allen the film takes you through the Nazi plundering of paintings in Poland, France and other countries (especially by Nazi art collectors like Hitler and Goering) to the efforts by citizenry to save museum pieces in Paris and Leningrad, to the unfortunate destruction of Renaissance architectural wonders during allied bombings in Italy and the German army demolishing various important Russian structures in the east. It also goes into efforts that are still going on to track down pieces since missing, and tells of efforts to give back personal effects to families of Jews, items the Nazis stole without thinking twice from people they considered inhuman. All this is told with a delicate balancing act, reminding the viewer of the far greater tragedy of the war: the tens of millions of lives lost, most of them civilians. The misfortune of art during the war is not even close to that level of tragedy, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Art is part of one’s culture and means a lot to great number of people. This is a story that deserves to be told, and though maybe this documentary goes in a few too many directions I found it quite interesting to see this perspective of the War that people rarely talk about.… Collapse
JayWOct 26, 2007Stunning documentary about the cultural pretenses that underlied Nazi ideology and war policy to the bitter end, and the Allies' conflicted views about the value of Europe's art treasures at a time of deadly conflict. This masterful blending of archival footage and interviews keeps you glued to your seat. Superb in all respects. See it on a big screen if you can!