Mephisto 1981
Hendrik Hoefgen is a provincial actor with aspirations to greatness despite being consigned to the small town stage. In a bid for notoriety, the Leftist actor first tries his luck staging revolutionary theater, though the amateur acting and shoddy performances doom him yet again to obscurity.

Narcissistic and grasping, Hoefgen nevertheless finds his opportunity for escaping his nobody status for the bright lights of Berlin. As the Nazis rise to power, like the German literary figure of Faust who sells his soul to the devil, Mephistopheles, Hoefgen sells his soul to the National Socialist Party.

While his wife flees Germany and fights in France to undermine the Nazis and his friends are carted off to concentration camps, Hoefgen begins to perform Nazi propaganda plays to promote his own name. He operates in a state of denial about who his collaborators are and ingratiates himself to the cruel, authoritarian General, modeled on the Nazi second in command Hermann Goering. The film becomes a scathing critique of the countless Germans who also profited from their devil's bargain in supporting the Nazi regime.

Wonderful acting in all roles and a strong, balanced script gives a chilling feel for why millions of people in Germany not just ambitious, monomaniacal actors succumbed to the outlandish theatrical appeal of Nazism by showing the more subtle, underlying psychological appeal of fascism itself.

Director: Istvan Szabo
Cast: Klaus Maria Brandauer, Krystyna Janda, Ildiko Bansagi, Rolf Hoppe, Gyorgy Cserhalmi
Country: West Germany, Hungary, Austria
Genre: Drama

DVD5 | PAL 16:9 | 02:18:08 | 4.35 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Deutsch, Magyar
Subtitles: English, Magyar, Nederlands

DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 02:24:00 | 7.91 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Deutsch
Subtitles: English

-- The Naked Face: Conversations with Director Istvan Szabo and Star Klaus Maria Brandauer
-- Talent Bios

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