“War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over” (William Tecumseh Sherman). These words were said by General William T. Sherman who was an American Soldier, businessman, educator, and author who served during the American Civil War. No one can deny this man’s words or his policy where his forces acts was that of ‘scorched earth’ which destroyed and disrupted everything related to the Confederates economy. His actions could have been considered cruel by some in its methods of destroying property to deny resources to the Confederates, but it also caused the Civil War from being dragged out and increasing the bloodshed on all sides. In this case, we are talking this real-life example to that of the short part of the movie that we are analyzing. This article will provide an in-depth analysis on the actions performed in the short clip “Inglorious Bastards” directed by Quentin Tarantino and how it might have been necessary for such actions to take place.
This clip of the film, as with all films tell a story, and this is about an elite group of soldiers wreaking havoc on Nazi personal and dealing a psychological blow to the German forces. Brad Pitt stars as the leader of this small group named Aldo “The Apache” Raine whose sole job is to kill Nazis. This clip relies on the numerous emotions it provokes, from horror to satisfaction of the actions being done. This clip also seems to appeal to our scene of ethics in that is what is bring done by this group is at all ethical to what they are doing to other humans that happen to be on the other side of the conflict. The people who would watch it would be people who enjoy seeing a film of US vs German and seeing the Nazis being defeated.
To analysis the situation, we must first understand the situation at hand. This situation is taking place in 1944 during World War 2. The definition of war according to Britannica is ‘a conflict among political groups involving hostilities of considerable duration and magnitude’ The group in question on the allies’ side happens to be comprised of Jewish American soldiers; Nazi ideology “classified Jews as the priority ‘enemy’”(Victims…Ideology). This background enables us to understand the underlining and visible anger portray in the video. They are clearly aware of their actions, but they are doing what they believe is right, a service if you will. This might be because at the start of the film Aldo in him speech mentions that “Nazi ain’t got no humanity” and if a person has no humanity then they are akin to that of an animal because that is the difference between humans and animals out humanity. If looked at why animal abuse happens, it is because “anger was the most common motivation for cruelty to animals” (Tiplady); and when transforming Nazis into animals this group of Jew American soldier filled with anger to what is being done there is only one outcome-cruelty.
In the scene we see Aldo Raine the leader of the group questioning a German Nazi Sgt Werner Rachtman. First Aldo starts off with giving the Sgt the possible outcomes of this encounter and how the outcome depends on his cooperation. Next, Aldo tells him exactly what information is required to be given up for the situation to proceed smoothly, as he knows that German sniper soldier are around, and he needs to know where. Then Aldo goes onto using fear to try to break the Sgt Rachtman by having Donny ‘The Bear Jew’ make noises of something hitting the walls in a dark tunnel, providing a glimpse of what will happen if he does not start cooperating with them and give up the information they are after. We see here an escalation of questioning tactics going from giving an option to be let go, to showing how much they already known, to then using fear of the unknown or in the case the known because of ‘The Bear Jews’ previous exploits to Nazis they have encountered. This technique happens to be one that is often used by cops but tones down to get the information needed for the cases, called the ‘Reid Technique’ in which the interrogator uses “ accusatory statements and active persuasion” (Jordan) to get the information that they are after.
In this clip there is an interesting choice of music. The song happens to be “The Surrender” by Ennio Morricone when Donny, aka ‘The Bear Jew’, comes out to meet the Sgt Rachtman. What is interesting about the choice of background music is that it takes inspiration from a previous piece of work, just modernized and happens to have starred in a previous movie- “The Good the Bad and The Ugly.” This choice of music is of no coincidence and we can draw various conclusions of why this music was chosen. The first would be that this song is well known to have been ‘confrontational’ music in the western film between opposing sides. Second we can say that the title of the movie was directly used on what is happening in the scene and how we view the sides, ‘the good’ happens to be how we view the US forces, ‘the bad’ would be the Nazi forces, and ‘the ugly’ would be talking about the act itself being done.
This part of the film was made to show how wars drive humans to extremes. Wars throughout history have been bloody with death on both sides, and here we are seeing it on film. The group is doing what it must to continue with its mission and the enemy which happens to be Nazis are in the war of the mission, and obstacles are at time removed when they get in the way. This is because at then end of the day we as people only really care about those closest to us and hardly about some stranger who we do not know. This group is trying to keep themselves alive, and if they must get that information from captured soldiers, then between getting information from the captured soldier or dying then the choice isn’t too difficult for soldiers.
This analysis has broken down the clip into numerous parts. First it stated how this clip appealed to its viewers using emotional appeal. Then background information was provided of the actual conflict that the film was loosely based on and why it angered the main ‘protagonists’ of the film. We looked at how interrogation was used and how similar it is used to get confessions from criminals. The brief music played in the clip was also analyzed as to find out why that music was used. Finally, we examined how we as humans are selfish in wanting to keep what we have and how strangers matter less than those close to us. The overall message that can be taken from the clip is that we must look at our fellow man and care for them as we might care for those close to use, for if we care about each other then it makes it more difficult to do horrible acts to them. Hitler thought of Jews as the enemy, there was no love or understanding, just as Aldo’s group thought of Nazis as animals because they had no humanity; in both instances acts of cruelty could flourish because of lack the understanding between the different groups.
Tiplady, Catherine. Animal Abuse Helping Animals and People. CABI, 2013.
“Victims of the Nazi Era: Nazi Radical Ideology.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/victims-of-the-nazi-era-nazi-racial-ideology.
JORDAN, QUINCY A. M. “The Odd Couple: Reid Interviews & Miranda Custody.” Arkansas Law Review (1968-Present), vol. 69, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 143–172. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=116769831&site=ehost-live.