If you, like I, could not attend the “Protest the Pope” rally in London this past weekend, you’ll want to see this. This amateur video captures Richard Dawkins’ short but empassioned response to Pope Ratzinger’s weak attempt to confuse the public by claiming that Hitler was an atheist, and it was his supposed atheism that led to the Holocaust. Of course, Ratzinger conveniently ignores the fact that Hitler made no secret of his Roman Catholicism and in fact, Hitler used remarkably Catholic-sounding arguments to defend his indefensible actions.
Picking the strongest internet meme is impossible – but if there was such a list the Hitler bunker scene remix must be one of the most recurring. Check out this short list of examples from YouTube.
Unfortunately TechCrunch reports that Constantin Film, the German film company, who made the movie has begun removing the parodies. Attempting to see them on YouTube often results in the text:
“This video contains content from Constantin Film, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.“
The amount of files will rapidly disappear once YouTube’s smart content system begins to locate and remove the clips. The question is not whether Constantin has the legal right to act the way they do but the effect of the action. TechCrunch again:
Downfall is a great movie, but it’s also in German which sadly means that many people outside that country will never watch it. But I’d bet these clips have sparked an interest in the film beyond what any type of traditional marketing could have done.
One could also ask what damage the making of the clips has. The clips don’t make less people see the movie or affect sales in any way. Are the clips creating a negative image of the serious movie? This is a doubtful argument as anyone watching the movie will realize the enormous difference between the comedy and the tragedy.
Constantin Film has acted with questionable legality (parodies are within the law) and have definitely not helped in promoting creativity.
Naturally I fully expect someone to create a Hitler parody to express the outrage we all feel at the loss of this important social commentary!