Synopsis by Mark Deming
While most of the nations occupied by Axis forces during World War II spawned active resistance movements, what is less well documented is that Germany had a large and well-organized anti-Nazi force of its own. Known as "The Red Orchestra," the group was regarded as a serious threat by the Nazi high command, who responded with a counter-intelligence program that painted an image of the group as Communist revolutionaries, which tainted its work in the eyes of both Axis and Allied forces. The truth was that the Red Orchestra were a group possessing diverse political and social allegiances (nearly forty percent were women) who were united by their desire to see Hitler and fascism driven from Germany, and that their number included Mildred Fish-Harnack, the only American executed by Nazi intelligence during the war. Filmmaker Stefan Roloff is the son of Helmut Roloff, who was one of the last surviving members of the Red Orchestra prior to his death in 2001; Stefan used interviews with his father as the basis for this film, which combines rare footage with unusual animation techniques to bring to life the true story of the Red Orchestra to life. The Red Orchestra features an original score by Martin Rev, keyboard player with the pioneering electronic punk band Suicide.
anti-Fascist, anti-Nazi, archival-footage, Germany, Nazi, orchestra, resistance, world-war