|King of Hearts
canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. War Horse begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its (perhaps improbable) emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land. The film is especially relevant for this course because of the courage of both the boy and the horse that is displayed amid the horror of war.
Perhaps most interesting is the film Max set in Munich December 1918 that depicts an unlikely friendship between two men who endured the horror of war, a Jewish art dealer named Rothman and a fledgling artist, Adolf Hitler. Rothman tries to encourage Hitler's humanistic impulses by supporting his art while others tap into his budding hateful demagoguery. One of the most enjoyable features of the film is viewing the modernist paintings displayed in Rothman's studio and observing Hitler's reactions to them. They include Max Ernst's Spanking of the Christ Child, a satirical take on the hypocritical and the life denying expressions of religion that is vividly captured in The White Ribbon, an austere German film that is set in a village prior to the outbreak of war, and the works of the acerbic Expressionist artist, George Grosz, who makes a cameo appearance.
|The Grey Day by George Grosz
|Spanking of the Christ-Child
|The White Ribbon
|Shell-shocked soldier in Paths of Glory