by Angel Mas
I watched Valkyrie yesterday. I thought it was a good movie, keeping you tense although you already know how the story ends.
But it is most importantly a movie about the few that did confront evil, that overcame the fear used by totalitarian regimes to suppress dissent through unlimited terror.
These persons were not all exemplary. There were former Nazis, soldiers with innocent's blood on their hands and many different motivations, not all of them altruistic or even decent: patriotism, pragmatism, survival.... But they did what all other regular Germans did not, they did rebel against being the silent collaborating cowards.
Don't get me wrong: fear for yourself and others is a powerful deterrent, Nazis knew that, and only extraordinarily brave persons could overcome it. But by doing that, they demonstrated that it could be done, that fear itself requires all that mass of morally ambiguous necessary executioners. Had enough of them resisted the manipulation of the few, the whole house of cards that a repressive regime is always built upon, would have collapsed.
But most did not. That makes the actions of those few so admirable, and the sheepish obedience, or opportunistic collaboration of most so repulsive.
And then, we are all confronted with the moral dilemma. What side would we have taken? What would we have advised our friends to do? Would we have endangered our loved ones for doing what it was right? Would we, when faced with a similar situation?