Irresponsible ‘Basterds’?: Mulling Over Tarantino’s WWII Do-Over
Posted on Aug 24, 2009
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.”
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.
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.”