Having watched the trailer for The Monuments Men for what felt like months we finally got to see it. I don’t always see a trailer before I see a movie as they often show the key parts to the film and you end up wondering why you watched the whole thing but this film still had plenty of hidden layers.
Based on a true story it introduces you to the lengths that Hitler wanted to go in his dominance of the world. So much has been told before about the atrocities that were committed during the war paling the stealing of art, sculptures and collectibles into insignificance when measured with the human costs. (For the purpose of this review I will ignore the human elements and focus on the film content.)
Nevertheless having seen the amount of artifacts involved and their historical and educational significance the world would have been a much different place. Imagine one man having a say over what should and shouldn’t be displayed to the world.
Rembrandt, Picasso, Michelangelo, Monet, Renoir if he didn’t like it he had it burned. All the altar pieces and significant religious artifacts removed from their homes and either destroyed or displayed in the Führer Museum. 5 million artifacts stolen all on the say so of one man.
The fact that they took what they wanted from who they wanted without a care for the cost of human life is terrible and has rightly been ignored in favour of depicting the human stories of the war. But there was a team of men who saved these artifacts and returned them to the world and some even lost their life in their pursuit and it is right that their stories are told.
I had been aware of Hitler stealing art from learning about the war at school but only on seeing this film did I realise the implications of that. I am in no way an art aficionado, I like most people like what I like when it comes to art.
But imagine only ever being able to learn about paintings from pictures in books because they had all been destroyed, well not even that you destroy the memory of the existence also. The world would have lost those important people forever and the schools would be filled with learning about men who didn’t value human life over those who tried to enhance it and capture its beauty.
Another reason to be happy that the allies won the war. Another reason to be thankful to those who gave their lives so that evil wouldn’t win.
I would recommend this film.