There are two films that should be seen back to back as examples of the Wise Fool. One is THE NASTY GIRL, the other; EUROPA (ZENTROPA, English title). Both take on collusion by the german people during and after World War II. Both are Miramax, Weinstein brothers films. THE NASTY GIRL is based on a true story.
The film illuminates an ordinary small German town. A very idealistic, intelligent, agreeable “good German girl” wins a school essay award. Acknowledged by family, teacher and the powerful, she tries to win another, but this time the topic is ’what did your German town do during the 1939-1945 time period’? Dutifully, intelligently, without a single shred of awareness, she begins to dig into the myths of freedom fighters and the good German people in the town she loves. But as any archeologist will tell you, don’t dig if you’re not ready to find the dead bodies. The myths are all lies. Instead she’s uncovering how those in power in government and the church, colluded for money, power, property and status against their Jewish and Communist neighbors. She even reveals her own and her families collusions and myths as ‘good people’.
Step by step, this great study of collusion, shows how the voice of history is silenced, even by “winning.” The most powerful image occurs when investigating and writing about these “nasty” elements surrounding her, she sees she is falling into a Joan of Arc role about to be burned at the stake, for which the religious element in her town will get their jollies. Even worse is the Victor role, where she vanquishes the lies and wins, only to be embalmed in the glamour of the powerful giving her another award, if it will only force her to shut up. Surprise ending, Does she fall for either of these scenarios? See it. See collusion the silent killer, dissected under a very powerful microscope. Then look around you with the tools you’ve been given.