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Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary

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Traudl Junge, Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary

Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG
runtime:
90 minutes
Limited Release Date:
01/24/03
performer:
Traudl Junge
director:
Andre Heller, Othmar Schmiderer
distributor:
Sony Pictures Classics
genre:
Historical, Documentary

We gave it a B+

The adage that no man is a hero to his valet gets put to the test in the fascinating bare-bones documentary Blind Spot: Hitler?s Secretary. For 90 minutes, the camera idles at neutral middle distance as it records a talking-head interview, done in several overlapping sessions, with Traudl Junge, who was just 22 years old when she became Adolf Hitler’s personal secretary in 1942. Junge, who looks and sounds much younger than her 81 years (she died in 2002, shortly after ”Blind Spot” was completed), speaks with robust precision and detachment. Virtually nothing she has to say about Hitler is new, yet to hear her describe the contrast between his public persona of self-hypnotic malevolence and the courteous, soft-spoken, unfailingly polite and paternal military executive she served on a daily basis is to confront a singular and intimate paradox: that Hitler’s evil was as compartmentalized as it was vast.

Junge never shrinks from her complicity in the Nazi regime, yet what we’re seeing in ”Blind Spot” is a worldly older woman’s reminiscence of the passive, naive fräulein she once was. Her memories lack the quality of revelation — that is, up until the remarkable final section, in which she describes the last weeks in the bunker with Hitler and Eva Braun, a gray zone of defeat in which the Führer comes to be ruled by an eerie and surprising yet undeniable aspect: vulnerability.