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Arts and Culture

Irresponsible ‘Basterds’?: Mulling Over Tarantino’s WWII Do-Over

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Posted on Aug 24, 2009
Inglourious Basterds
dailymail.co.uk

A couple of cut-ups: Eli Roth, left, and Brad Pitt play Nazi hunters Lt. Aldo Raine and Sgt. Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz in “Inglourious Basterds.”

Quentin Tarantino certainly took full cinematic license and ran with it in his Nazi-bashing big-screen extravaganza “Inglourious Basterds,” but as Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman explains, some people are getting pretty fired up about the film’s convention-busting climax, worrying that it could lead impressionable future generations (or current ones, for that matter) astray about what really happened at the end of World War II.  —KA

Spoiler alert: Read no further if you don’t want to know what Tarantino does to rewrite history in “Inglourious Basterds.”

Entertainment Weekly:

Audacious, to be sure. But irresponsible? I was shocked when a friend of mine, an adventurous movie critic who has often loved Tarantino’s work, said that he was seriously offended by the movie’s big, explosive, death-in-a-Paris-movie-theater climax. He said that he thought Tarantino had stepped over a line of historical veracity, and that audiences, especially younger ones, might be led by Inglourious Basterds to embrace the idea that World War II was just another meaningless pulp fantasy.

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By filosofe, September 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Hate to disagree.  But Tarantino is FOR kids.  Adults watch this puerility?  Really?  Adults ain’t what they used to be.

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By Sepharad, August 30, 2009 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

Russian Paul, I do see what your’re trying to say. Not sure you saw the film, but the final scene, which I cheered, incinerated most of the German high command along with Hitler—which as everyone knows unfortunately did not happen—because it if were real, many millions of lives—including Russian lives, which is why I wondered if you cared about that—could have been saved because fairly early on there were some German generals who disliked the killing camps, many who disagreed with Hitler’s strategy (in fact tried to assassinate him several times). Had Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler and Gohring been dispatched all at one time, the war would have ended very very quickly.

I’m glad some of your relatives survived the Gulag; I believe some of Inherit’s did too. Those relatives of mine who did not go to Palestine or the U.S. in the early to mid-1800s ended up in Buchenwald. Silly of them for having imagined that 400 years of assimilation meant anything. (I never knew them; they were my maternal grandmother’s extended family, men and women both traditionally doctors in Dresden. If the Nazis hadn’t killed them the Allied bombing of that city would have. It was a bad, bloody war for everyone—not just Jews.)

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By PatrickHenry, August 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

ardee, I hope its your last word, but I doubt it.

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, August 29 at 5:17 pm

Let me be perfectly clear in this, my last word to you. My umbrage is directed at your extremist political position and the way you distort anything and everything in an attempt to swing the pendulum further right. You simply havent a conscience to go with your lack of knowledge..A perfect storm in fact.

Your supposition that the airwaves are filled with “Zionist propaganda bullshit” a direct quote, is funny when noted that your posts are simply all bullshit.

By now, post what you will, you desperately need a time out..like ant five year old does on occasion.

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By PatrickHenry, August 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

ardee, as your last post pointed out two key phrases you make in your attitude against me.

first, you believe in cheap shots for reputation and,
second, you know you are insulting to other posters who cross your percieved boundries.

These are your beliefs and not mine.

Welcome to the first Amendment.

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By Laughing, August 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

PatrickHenry

OK how about this brain buster
Since you seem to have such hostility for a group of people which you admit to never meeting a single member;  How exactly has the media, which has been your only source of information about them made you hate them so much?  If it was all pro-zionist propaganda, surely you, having no other source of information would love them


People who are upset that the movie is zionist propaganda really need to grow up.  Not everything is about the narrow political hole you have put yourself into

couldn’t you have taken away the exact opposite from the movie? (which I’m sure you all haven’t actully seen).  Couldn’t you take away the message that the jews were just as brutal as the nazi’s?  And therefore less sympathetic
Couldn’t you conclude that the movie was a justification for terrorism under certain circumstances?  Not exactly the message zionists are pushing these days

Or you could take away what normal people take away from it.  It was a movie that mixed the genres of the american western and WWII movies

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, August 29 at 10:01 am #

By ardee, August 29 at 12:15 pm #

Do you believe that cheap shots earn you good repute? You are mistaken. Instead it simply highlights the fact that your ideology lacks substance.

It is same verbatim advice you yourself have given other posters here.  On the other hand your ideology seems to be full of “it”.

Then by all means discuss that ideology you ‘ideot’. What purpose, other than to make clear you haven’t a case or a clue, is a discussion without referencing said position? I believe that I am insulting to those who cross a boundary, or to those who insult me first. I always make my differences with the position involved perfectly clear, always, in a preceding or following post..What on earth do you do?

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By PatrickHenry, August 29, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

By ardee, August 29 at 12:15 pm #

Do you believe that cheap shots earn you good repute? You are mistaken. Instead it simply highlights the fact that your ideology lacks substance.

It is same verbatim advice you yourself have given other posters here.  On the other hand your ideology seems to be full of “it”.

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By ardee, August 29, 2009 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, August 28 at 9:33 pm #

ardee, you should put down that drink and quit smoking that shit to pay attention to your typing.

Do you believe that cheap shots earn you good repute? You are mistaken. Instead it simply highlights the fact that your ideology lacks substance.

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By PatrickHenry, August 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Laughing, I don’t live in New York City, Hollywood or Miami and I get out plenty.

ardee, you should put down that drink and quit smoking that shit to pay attention to your typing.

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By Joe the Philosopher, August 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee says:

“Patrick Henry says:

{i]One can’t watch TV anymore without a large steaming pile of zionist propaganda bullshit. {/i}

Hee, someone is telling far more about themselves I fear than about Hollywood’s products.”

I don’t think so, ardee. Patrick Henry is spot on and most people know it. That is, people who have a functioning brain. By the way, are you part of the organized Zionist campaign to stifle dissent about Israel and Zionism? Just curious.

I hope this information isn’t censored:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23111.htm

http://rinf.com/alt-news/contributions/israeli-hires-internet-soldiers/6148/

They must keep you pretty busy trying to plug the holes in the dike. Forget it. The news is out.

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By ardee, August 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, August 28 at 6:34 am #


{i]One can’t watch TV anymore without a large steaming pile of zionist propaganda bullshit. {/i}

Hee, someone is telling far more about themselves I fear than about Hollywood’s products.

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By Russian Paul, August 28, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Yea Pat, I have to say, I don’t remember ever seeing a bar mitzvah on TV, and I
actually have been to a few. They are extremely dull, so I don’t see why anyone
would put that on the tv…I can go along with the idea that a pro-zionist agenda
is present in all media here, but we have to distinguish with “zionism” and
“judaism.” This seems way too difficult for a lot of people.

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By Laughing, August 28, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

PatrickHenry
You have never met anyone who has had a bar mitzvah?
And you live in America? the country with the largest population of jewish people in the world?
You need to get out more

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By PatrickHenry, August 28, 2009 at 3:34 am Link to this comment

Russian Paul, I seldom get fired up over anything anymore and I will likely see the movie when it goes HBO. 

One can’t watch TV anymore without a large steaming pile of zionist propaganda bullshit.  Most portrayed weddings on TV’s are jewish….mazeltoff…bar mitzvahs are shown often, even though I have never met anyone who had one.  Yes it is a different world on TV and in the movies… a predominantly jewish themed one.

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By Russian Paul, August 28, 2009 at 3:15 am Link to this comment

So sorry. Obviously I meant AMERICAN-INDIANS. I really need to go to sleep.

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By Russian Paul, August 28, 2009 at 2:58 am Link to this comment

One last thought. I believe that zionists and anti-zionists alike can see the evil
that was the 3rd reich, but it’s difficult for some to grasp the idea that US is just
as bad, if not worse. We’re responsible for far more deaths than the Nazis -
hundreds and hundreds of millions if you add it up over the years. In fact, I
believe our treatment of the Indian Americans was Hitler’s inspiration for the
Holocaust. So, this is why I think Tarantino’s “putting the shoe on the other foot”
was purposely and masterfully done.

And Patrick Henry, you are so fired up and eager to view this film as zionist
propaganda, that you missed out on other possible interpretations. I still hold
that this film was a mock-propaganda comedy that I guess American audiences
are way too dense to understand.

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By Russian Paul, August 28, 2009 at 1:00 am Link to this comment

Sepharad - Don’t you think it’s funny how the Nazi’s were getting a kick out of
their propaganda film, laughing and cheering hysterically at a bunch of Allies
getting shot and then, as Aldo says, “the shoe is on the other foot,” and the REAL
audience you participated in started to cheer and applaud their OWN propaganda
film. I think Tarantino did that on purpose. Do you see what I’m trying to say?

By the way, the Russians lost 20 million people in WWII. But I guess that’s OK
with you.

I don’t know why you would say that, I had several relatives who survived the
Gulag.

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By Sepharad, August 27, 2009 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

ardee—thanks for the computer lesson. I will practice.

Russian Paul—I did not communicate precisely. Many people cheered the scalpings—I yelled and cheered during the final scene, shortly after poking husband in ribs whispering “They can’t be planning a suicide bombing.” Later in the car riding home, I was searching for a precedent and I suppose I found it in the defense of the Warsaw ghetto, people doing things they knew they were going to die for but not willing to be killed without fighting. In the end, many of the surviving defenders of Warsaw went to Palestine. One thing that has always bothered me is why so many Jews behaved logically but not rationally given the situation and allowed themselves to be herded like meek cattle onto the trains, into the gas. I avoid Holocaust commemorations—have never visited Yad Vashem or any other memorial, have never visited the sites of the killing camps in Poland in Germany—because I am very aware that many good people in the world weep soft tears for Anne Frank but are freaked out when Jews stand and fight. I think what I was responding to was that in Tarentino’s imaginary world, a few Jews and one black Frenchman incinerated the whole top tier of the Nazi command, including the little corporal himself. Gotta say I wish that had happened in real life and a whole lot earlier, say in ‘32 or so.

If this makes me a bloody-minded person in your brain, then so be it. (By the way, the Russians lost 20 million people in WWII. But I guess that’s OK with you.)

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By Sepharad, August 27, 2009 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Oops. Correction to my previous comment; General Standwatie was of the Ridge (not Ross) clan, related to John Rollins Ridge who was better known as Yellow Bird in pre-Civil War California, and author of the legend of bandido Joaquin Murietta. It was the Cherokee Ross clan that refused to fight against the Union soldiers.

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By Sepharad, August 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

laughing, enjoyed and pretty much agreed with your comment. Just a note on the scalping (though you probably already know this)—there was a precedent in America’s War of the Rebellion or Civil War, depending on your orientation. Nearly all of the Cherokee nation (with exception of one clan) backed the south and eagerly joined the fighting, many of them serving under Texas’ General Hood and still others serving under Confederate General Standwatie of the Ross clan, who was the last Confederate general to surrender, fighting on for months after Appomatox. During the war, some of the Cherokees as well as those Creeks who had joined the Confederacy began taking scalps, but after the first year of the war Yankee officers wrote to their Confederate counterparts complaining and demanding that the practice be discontinued. History does not record—at least as far as I know—the official Confederate reponse, but the scalping did go on for some time by individuals behaving according to their historical traditions in wartime. 

Though not religious, I’m about as Jewish as they come, and remember no stories in our mythology and history and folklore mentioning scalping. There was the story of the Golem, of course, created by a rabbi during some of the worse persecutions in barely post-medieval Europe to help protect his people. I suppose an imaginative person could find some similarity of the Golem’s charge—to kill and strike terror into the hearts of those murdering Jews—combining the persona’s of Eli “Bearjew” Roth and Brad Pitt’s character.

A long-deceased friend of ours, a historian of the mountain men in California, half-Scott and half-Delaware Indian, used to tell us stories after dinner when we visited him in the Sierras, while our five-year-old grew sleepy snuggled under his buffalo robe. One of the most startling was nothing out of the distant past but involved our friend’s participation as a Marine commando among others who crept into the jungles of Guadalcanal in preparation for the main assault. He said he killed many men with his knife, but only took a few scalps.

He went on to discuss the days when American Indians fought the Spanish, Mexicans and the Yankees as well as one another. Then, scalpings did not kill the unfortunate victims as generally supposed. It was considered more honorable to first kill someone you intended to leave dead before you scalped him. But plain old hit-and-run scalping was a step up from merely counting coup so rash young braves did it occasionally. I cannot vouch for the veracity of this, but believe our friend believed it, as he was an honorable and truthful man equally interested in the history of his two different heritages, and an acknowledged scholar in his field.

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By laughing, August 27, 2009 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every movie doesn’t have to broken down into morality

That being said the author clearly missed the entire native american guerrilla/terrorist warfare aspect of the movie.  That’s why they were scalping people.  In the movie, They were liberating France from an occupying power.  Very similar to current events involving america and fairly similar tactics are used against the occupying force. 

The Nazi’s are the bad guys because they make good bad guys.
They kill Hitler in the end because its a movie, not because he wants to re-write history

If you are going to criticize WWII movies for being inaccurate, you should probably stick to the ones that tried to be accurate.  Most ones I’ve ever seen show the Americans defeating the German’s when in reality, the Russians defeated the Germans, we defeated the Japanese

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By dsmith, August 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Patrick Henry you speak the truth.\

What revisionist Weinstein and his puppet QT are. Look at the invasion of Iraq which was supported by all zionist journalist like Bill Kristol and Kruathammer. They all supported invading and occupying Iraq (and now want to start a war with Iran), knowing that jewish men of military age in the US will not die in their trumped up wars, simply because Jews don’t join the military. They say, “Let the Goyas (Non-Jews) fight the wars”, which makes this propoganda film of Jewish bravery, all the more obscene.

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By PatrickHenry, August 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Now this is a real review.

http://www.toqonline.com/2009/08/inglourious-basterds/

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By ardee, August 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, August 27 at 2:42 am #

My comment on “Inglousious Basterds” somehow made it’s way over to the thread on slavery. Not being a computer person I don’t know how to cut and paste.
......................

Hold the cursor over the first word in the sentence, left click th emouse and, while holding the button down , slide the cursor along the sentence, you will note a blue line following your motion. When you have completely covered that which you wish to paste right click , the dialogue box will appear and offer you a choice, select copy and viola! Simply go to wherever right click again, select paste and you have entered the world of computers.

After much practice I am at the competency level of a ten year old…..

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By PatrickHenry, August 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

I guess jewish-zionist hollywood is recreating what-if history which embellishes the jewish role in WW2 from victim to glorious blood thirsty commando.  (Look out Iran).

Much of what is stated in the MSM about Israel’s military prowess is mere fantasy, success against 3rd world military forces and rock throwing Palestinian militia, enabled and perpetuated by a willing (jewish-zionist) media, hardly makes Israel a contender in an armed match or their soldiers to posess Zohan like qualities. 

Israels veiled posession of nuclear weapons does however make them dangerous and their implied use of the sampson option (MAD) blackmails the rest of the world to have to put up with their pro-semite nature.

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By Anarcissie, August 27, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

mike112769: ‘I would hope that future generations would not consider any work by Tarantino to be factual, or a documentary. Judging by the dumbing down of our society, I am not TOO hopeful.’

Come on, everyone knows that Pulp Fiction was a pure slice of mainstream American life.

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By Russian Paul, August 27, 2009 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

...wildly cheered some of the scalpings and the shocking ending (I did too).

No surprise there. This is the irony I think Tarantino was going for. He actually
got Americans to cheer and applaud a suicide bombing. And bloodthirsty zionists
like Sepharad got to quench their thirsts with the graphic depictions of torture and
murder. I don’t have any sympathy for the 3rd reich, but “wildly cheering” the
repugnant acts carried out by the Basterds reduces you to the same beastly level
as the Nazis.

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By Sepharad, August 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm Link to this comment

My comment on “Inglousious Basterds” somehow made it’s way over to the thread on slavery. Not being a computer person I don’t know how to cut and paste.

What I didn’t mention was that I had no intention of seeing the flick—Tarantino is good at what he does but am not into that genre—but the NYTimes praised the flick, indeed said it was not to be missed, so husband I went.

It was great, as cartoon, which is the only way you could describe it, and the ending was completely non-historical, but I loved it. Being a Zionist didn’t have anything to do with it; husband is not a Jew but also liked it (and is not easily pleased by any media that’s not a book or newspaper). The guy who walked away with the acting award was the SS guy, counterintuitively a genial, pleasant, witty fellow whose murderous activity was quite compartmentalized.

What I did mention was that the San Francisco audience was 1) mostly 40-50-60-somethings, no teens and very few 30-somethings and 2) wildly cheered some of the scalpings and the shocking ending (I did too).

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By Nakigaia, August 26, 2009 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

There is no “accurate” portrayal of WWII. All history stories are interpretation and beliefs. This is a movie. Tora, Tora, Tora was a movie. The Great Escape was a movie. It’s all made up, every bit of it. It’s a movie. If you are entertained, you got what there is to get.

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By Blackspeare, August 26, 2009 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

This movie is essentially the “Dirty Dozen” meets the “Kosher Dozen!”

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By Dave24, August 26, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

It’s a work of fiction.  As such, it doesn’t have to be accurate.  If it was a
documentary, that would be a different story.  If anything, the movie might
motivate moviegoers to invest some time in learning about WWII.

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By ardee, August 26, 2009 at 3:22 am Link to this comment

“I’m not so sure, ardee. I haven’t even seen it, but sounds like a good portrayal of the psychotic Zionist mind. “

If any wish to understand why we make no progress, politically speaking, in this nation I give you the above line as reason number one. A damn movie, meant to entertain not instruct, and this person turns it into something personal to him. How does it feel, I ownder, to share something in common with Reagan? He, too, thought movies were realities.

We are well and truly fucked.

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By Russian Paul, August 26, 2009 at 2:14 am Link to this comment

PLUS - The obviously over-exaggerated caricature of Hitler and others in the 3rd
reich also came across as rather tongue in cheek. It’s a mock-propaganda film of
sorts.

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By Russian Paul, August 26, 2009 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

Wow - Joe, Octopus, Patrick and others - I really think you have missed the mark
here. Tarantino does not moralize, that is not his style. There are no good guys or
bad guys in this film. In fact, if you compare all the violence in this film, the
“Basterds” are far more brutal, conniving, and barbaric than any Nazi portrayed in
the film. And the way he plays with the audience’s thirst for Nazi blood is rather
brilliant, please read my earlier comment below. This film is much more complex
than what you give it credit for.

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By General Ripper, August 25, 2009 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, let us please remember that although we spend a great deal of time in front of phosphers or LCDs, that is not life, nor history.  For those who wish to remain ignorant and ill informed it simply takes a lack of initiative and a willingness to believe the talking heads and whatever is presented on the big and small screens.

It is an artform, not a history lesson.  And for those that cannot distinguish a documentary from a movie, they deserve the life they have.

The great thing about QT is his willingness to maintain his purity of essence.  Apologies to Stanley.

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By octopus, August 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

I no longer support Zionists or their Puppets.
Quentin….you’re dead to me now.

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By PatrickHenry, August 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Just some more glorification of jews in media.  I wonder who controls that racket…

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By Rodger Lemonde, August 25, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On the plus side, we need to point up that ‘Nazi’ is
not a contraction of ‘nasty’ ala ‘wuz up’. The
accusation of Nazism has been too freely and inaccurately applied recently. The ultimate dread of
German soldiers in WW11 was a posting to the Russian
front.
On the negative side we have way too many people for
whom the facts are not required if they have a belief
fed to them from right wing sources. Rewriting history
is a specialty for this group.

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By ardee, August 25, 2009 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

Its a darn movie, for cripes sake!

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By Karen Freed, August 25, 2009 at 2:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: “Tarantino had stepped over a line of historical veracity, and that audiences, especially younger ones, might be led by Inglourious Basterds to embrace the idea that World War II was just another meaningless pulp fantasy.”

It isn’t up to Hollywood to teach history, now is it?

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By Russian Paul, August 25, 2009 at 1:53 am Link to this comment

Putting aside the obvious and humorous historical inaccuracies, this film was
rather brilliant in how it plays the audience. When I saw the film, it was in a
packed crowd on opening night and right after Shoshanna’s theatre blows up,
everyone started hooting, hollering and clapping like a bunch of wild animals.
Minutes before, the Nazis were raucously cheering their propaganda film, and we
in the real audience are enjoying our own. And I think it was interesting how he
got American audiences to applaud a patriotic suicide bombing.

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By Dar, August 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Being of Italian descent, why didn’t Tarantino instead make a film in which a group of Allied-trained Arab and African soldiers go kill a bunch of Italiasn over what they did in Libya and Ethiopia?

Ah, but that would mean brining up Italy’s war crimes, and only Germans are to feel eternally guilty, not Italians.

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By Gallimaufry, August 24, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

i am quite confident that future generations will be able to discern the truth…..after all we have Art Bell and Coast to Coast AM…..never fear they are already here

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By wanked, August 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The flick was suspenceful and gripping, casting dread and nausea whenever a naatsy was on the screen. That part was realistic. But after enduring 2 plus hours of this emotional trauma, it sure was nice to see hitler get shot in the face a dozen times. Brings back that minute moment in cinamatic obscurity when georgie bush got offed. Member that?
Kids shouldn’t be watching tarintino anyhow. And if they are old enough, I’d hope they’d understand the concept of fantasy…geesh

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By mike112769, August 24, 2009 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

I would hope that future generations would not consider any work by Tarantino to be factual, or a documentary. Judging by the dumbing down of our society, I am not TOO hopeful.

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By Chris, August 24, 2009 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There has been enough re writing of World War Two history as it is. On both sides.

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