Today we go with a Spanish/German movie about WWII. Honestly, that line made me we want to watch it again. The Photographer of Mauthausen is a movie inspired by true events that takes place in Mauthausen, a concentration/extermination camp in Austria. The movie takes place around 1945, towards the end of the war, a Spanish prisoner, also a photographer, tries to save evidence of the horrors committed in Mauthausen.
So, at this point in life we all know what happened at the concentration camps, we have had hundreds of movies and multiple evidences of what actually happened, some might feel like it’s already time to drop this whole WWII suffering. I must differ, I think that, although it has been overused and overexploited at times, there is still much that hasn’t been said about the war, many things that most people are not aware of, like for example, did you know that there were Spanish prisoners in the concentration camps? Or that the pictures of many of the horrors committed by the Nazi’s are now available because some people gave everything, they could to keep them safe? Or the fact that because of the pictures that these people saved Heinrich Himmler was trialed for crimes against humanity by being spotted in Mauthausen? I bet you didn’t know this. This movie goes around these topics and I loved it.
First of all, this movie is half Spanish and half German, don’t expect to hear English, because there’s no reason for these people to speak English, capiche? Second of all, this movie is not easy to watch, it is brutal, and raw and realistic, if you are sensitive to topics of torture and raw violence, I don’t think this movie is for you. The intention of this movie is, like the actual event, to put in evidence the things that happened at Mauthausen and the story of those who made it possible to be noticed.
I need to say that I haven’t felt something as raw and chilling in a movie since the first time I watched The Pianist. If you have seen the Pianist, you have an idea of what to expect from this. Some things might feel like they are being thrown at your face, like if someone made a huge snowball of “awareness” and just slammed you with it. There is no censorship, there is no going around the bushes, it is direct, clear and sad, but it is good, it’s not afraid of what people might think.
I have to praise the work of the actors who put up with the conditions. I specially appreciated how they actually tried to speak German in some occasions, it gives it a more original feeling to the whole movie. Although I must say, the portrayal of the main general is at times very exaggerated, it almost feels like if he is pure evilness. I wasn’t able to corroborate if all the things he did in the movie were actually done in real life, but at the end we do know he was very bad, specially because of the way he was sentenced (by the own prisoners of Mauthausen of course), I won’t explain it here, but you’ll see.
I recommend this movie to everyone who likes war movies and history, but I also think that casual thriller watchers might also enjoy this fantastic movie. I want to invite you to watch it all the way to the end credits, for they show you the real pictures taken at Mauthausen and I think it will make you appreciate the thoroughly detailed scenes and moments, it almost feels like you are watching the real events. I don’t have much else to say, you know the basics, you’ve been warned about what this movie is, but you have also been informed of the historical importance that it brings. All that remains is for you to watch it and to tell me what you think.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review. Tell me what you think about this movie? What should I review next? Tell me in the comment section below.