Inglourious Basterds

In light of the removal of SilentDawn's review of this film last night by Letterboxd moderators, this rewatch had me thinking about how the film presents an unusual response to the long Jewish history of cultural trauma. So often we are depicted as honorable in our victimhood, with clean hands and wet eyes and quivering lips. As if to depict us otherwise would make it seem as though we "deserved" what happened to us. As if it matters. This is a film that, in dealing with Jewish trauma, allows us to be nasty and vicious and cruel. It depicts us as frigid (Shoshanna) and flippantly violent (the Basterds), hardly paragons of personality. And you know what the movie also says? "They deserve it." It stares in the face of Nazi atrocity and the only answer it can come up with for Jews is mayhem and blood and fire. By the time Shoshanna's voice declares that hers is "the face of Jewish vengeance," the screen has disappeared in flame. Her image appears distorted on the rising smoke. Jewish vengeance isn't nice and orderly and respectable. It's inglorious. Because Nazis ain't got no humanity. And they need to be destroyed.

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