Diplomacy – 7

Once one accepted that this was a stage play, not a docudrama, the philosophical back-and-forth between German General Chotlitz and Swedish Consul Nordling could be appreciated as an intellectual exploration of human motives, rather than a somewhat incredible portrayal of how Paris was saved from Nazi destruction. There was no reason Chotlitz would have allowed Nordling’s presence for a movie-long dialogue, but the set-up allowed us to analyze and weigh the thought processes of a Nazi commander and the wall between soldier and human. Personally, I didn’t find Chotlitz’s change of heart credible: the reasons for his change were present from the beginning, although they were a surprise when revealed to us near the end. We were equally unprepared for the sudden resistance of the collaborating French architect that effectively saved the city. (Since all these figures lived many years after the war, perhaps there is a more factual basis to the dramatization than I allow.)

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