Berlin, 1934. Franz Setzer, genius composer and musician, would rather score Hollywood movies if it could be helped. For that to happen he’s in need of startup capital, money he can easily earn as a movie composer in Berlin as long as he toes the line with Goebbels. The new Reich, the new uniforms, the racial fanaticism – besides posing a daily threat they also signify bad style and boredom. Although feeling like an enfant terrible, he takes timely precautions in case of an emergency. Thus far he’s been left alone despite his being Jewish, assured of Goebbels’ and various famous actors’ advocacy on his behalf.
His new love interest, Sahra, a psychoanalyst, is much more of a sceptic however. She too is Jewish and Franz gets her jobs. He is fresh off arranging the music for a Marika-Röck revue film which has earned him high praise. Up next is Setzer’s biggest assignment yet. Walt Dinsey plans to release an animated movie of ‚Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.’ A German fairy tale from the quill of the enemy! The Führer is beside himself! The first-ever big German cinema animation feature is urgently rushed into production. Per orders from the Führer, „Hans, the Aryan Lion“ is ordained to take drastic measures against all inferior animals in the jungle.
Setzer is to compose degenerate music for the jungle exodus of the non-Aryan animals as well as other scenes using American big band jazz which Goebbels is keen on banning from the dance halls.
Franz Setzer has one of the first-ever electric guitars flown in from the U.S. and tinkers with new songs. Franz cranks up the volume, Jitterbuggin’ and Jumpin’`n Jivin’, whilst jamming edgy, hard guitar runs, evoking feedback, in order to create the epitome of degenerateness. When the first sequences of the film are finished, Setzer puts his music to it.
When during a couple of scenes at the Ministry of Propaganda’s test screenings these new sounds spark bursts of enthusiasm as the people dance in the isles, hooting and hollering, Franz and Sarah have to run. Setzer has accidentally invented rock’n’roll, which is now banned in Germany but journeys with him to America.
His girlfriend, Sahra, doesn’t understand the world anymore. She is scared for her life ever since she lost her job as a psychoanalyst after the National Socalists deemed psychoanalysis decadent. Freud’s books had been burnt a year earlier and Sahra would like to leave Germany altogether. However, Franz Setzer wouldn’t think of emigrating. Out of love for him, Sahra stays and tries to be a supportive companion as the unsettling events unfold. Trying to help Franz utilizing C.G. Jung’s teachings remains an idle wish. Before too soon it is Sahra who’s in need of some self-analysis, with the help of Jung and Freud, in order to realize what exactly is looming.
Snow White and The Fuehrer
How Rock`n Roll came to America - Serial 1
Publication date: 09/10/2011
The Fuehrer versus Walt Disney - a satire dedicated to Ernst Lubitsch.
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