7.8/10
433
12 user 5 critic

Human Remains (1998)

Film clips of the 20th century's great dictators with narration in first person combine to form a fascinating portrait of power and evil.

Director:

Jay Rosenblatt

Writer:

Jay Rosenblatt
Reviews
9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eva Braun ... Herself (archive footage)
Francisco Franco ... Himself (archive footage)
Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage)
V.I. Lenin ... Himself (archive footage)
Zedong Mao ... Himself (archive footage)
Benito Mussolini ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Stalin ... Himself (archive footage)
Leon Trotsky ... Himself (archive footage)
Paul von Hindenburg Paul von Hindenburg ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

We see a gravedigger's shovel at work. Then, we watch archival footage that, for the most part, is up close and personal scenes of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco, and Mao. In the background, a voice in German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese speaks in the first person, narrating an autobiography; another voice gives a simultaneous translation in English. Often we see them with children or young women. They are braggarts. The editing is droll; the words and images combine to satiric effect. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Details

Official Sites:

Jay Rosenblatt Films

Country:

USA

Release Date:

January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anthropina apomeinaria See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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User Reviews

 
Great Concept
25 January 2005 | by Tzsm98See all my reviews

What a great idea to use the personal writings of the 20th century's dictators to illustrate their home movies, propaganda films and news clips.

The artist exhibited a keen sense of knowing what words to put with which shot. For example, Hitler's discussion of his flatulence voices over a shot of Hitler and two other people fanning the air about them. Wonderful contrasts between the words of the subject and the action of the subject as recorded on film appear in other shots.

The artist also had a keen ear for what words to choose. All of the subjects left extensive writings. He managed to pick the right five or ten minutes of their written remains to illustrate them properly.

Additionally, the similarities among the subjects startled me. On several points the words used were very close to identical. In other instances he illustrated the similarities in intensity rather than detail.

If anyone ever needed to know why the 20th century was such a mess and had only thirty minutes in which to figure it out, this film would be the place to go.

The sound effects used to enhance the film distracted me a bit. The unclear shots of the man with the shovel created another distraction.


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