Cultural Criticism In M (Fritz Lang, 1931)

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M (Fritz Lang, 1931) is a cinematic German piece that aided in introducing the psychological thriller genre to a wide audience across the globe. When compared to American cinema at the same time, M is distinguishable by its’ dark theme and clear opposition toward the Nazi regime in a time of censorship, American cinema during the time was experiencing the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood, producing very star-studded films that were transitioning from the family friendly to adult oriented and thus, also experienced a differing form of visual censorship. When analyzed from an individual outside of their culture, the film’s meaning can easily be interpreted as a pro-Nazi piece or even form of propaganda. Thus, an American is likely to understand this …show more content…
The film was released during a time of historical significance and a great divide within the major continents and countries, thus, many can interpret the film simply on pure emotion, nationality loyalty, or from common misconceptions during the time. In analyzing specific characters and plot points to 1930s Nazi Germany, Horst Lange writes, “When M was released in 1931, National Socialism was an established part of the political landscape of the Weimar Republic. Hitler 's and Goebbels ' rhetoric, ideology, and methods had become common knowledge. So when Schränker dresses in a black leather coat, contemporaries could make the visual connection to the coats so favored by Nazi grandees” (Lange 175). It is at this point that such a connection could be viewed as being used to depict Nazi Germany in a negative light since the character wearing the Nazi-favored coat is the largest crime lord within the city. Conversely, it can also be elucidated as Nazi propaganda because he is the leader of this underground society who organizes a shakedown to find the killer no matter the cost because its conflicting with business negatively. Depending on the culture, beliefs, or emotions, thematic meaning can be interpreted very differently for this German

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