So, I decided to kill time watching ‘Fatherland’; for those of you who don’t know, Fatherland is an excellent novel which is set in a future in which Hitler won the second world war; continued extermination of the Jewish people, and in which America has a right wing president, and the Soviet Union continues to fight the might of the new German empire.
It is, in fact, a truly excellent book; chilling and well written, especially to those of us who had it drilled into us at school that the war was won by luck and 3 days (the German tactic of destroying the RAF would have worked had they continued for about 3 more days; after which we’d’ve run out of pilots). I heard an interview with the author of Fatherland in which he said he regretted selling the rights to it; and disliked the film. And had always vaguely wondered what it was like. So I watched it.
Meh, read the book. The film is far too short, the characters just, well, the whole thing doesn’t feel believeable and it doesn’t have the texture of the book. My dad always used to say that the pictures were better on the Radio, and I’ve always kind of mentally extended this to books. Books have the best effects, too. And the Berlin of Albert Speer really feels deeply real in the book, but like much else it really doesn’t come across in the film.
So, there you go. I can’t decide if I think it’s really a bad film, or if it’s really an okay made-for-tv movie but it just doesn’t compare to the book…