As far as drama in cinema goes, audiences need their antagonists to be believably despicable in order for his or her struggles against the protagonists to be more palpable, more believable.
Oftentimes, these villains are culled from society at large. The “Indians” were pitted against “cowboys” in westerns, the “savages” against the “colonizers” in jungle action troupes, “drug dealers” against “cops”, “soldier” against “terrorist” and “democracy” versus “communism” themes have all proliferated productions at various points throughout the history of motion pictures.
However, at one point, no “bad guy” got as much screen time as Nazis and nazi-ism. Dating back to the time of World War II up until relatively recently, there have been hundreds if not thousands of films in which Nazis have been depicted as the ultimate bad guys. So much so that the idea of the gray-uniformed Nazi soldier as the bad guy has almost become a cliche.
So much so that they’ve inspired fictionalized version throughout media; the Empire of Star Wars, the zombies of Call of Duty are but a few of the many iterations.
It was easy to make Nazis out to be bad guys because, well, they were bad guys. Aggressors in a war that nearly destroyed the world, mass murderers who followed the orders of a sociopath until the bitter end.
Currently, the very idea of Nazism, disguised as a white nationalism, is gaining quasi-legitimacy in the mainstream at a rapid pace. So much so that a significant portion of white Americans, many of whom had relatives die on the battlefields of Europe or in the industrialized Nazi death machines of Eastern Europe, are now treating this philosophy of hate as if it is worthy of discourse. Newsflash, it is not!
Society’s love of fiction and fantasy has so normalized the abhorrent Nazis that so-called clear-headed Americans wear blinders as their children spout hate and praise Hitler.
Indeed, it is times such as these when education via cinema becomes just as important as entertainment With the recent announcement of Monkey Paw Production’s new series The Hunt being ordered straight to series on Amazon, we see an opportunity to both educate and entertain.
Set in the 70s, The Hunt is created by David Weil and follows a group of Nazi hunters living in New York City who stumbles upon a plot in which hundreds of former senior Nazi officials are planning to create a Fourth Reich in the United States. The antagonists embark on a violent endeavor to end this threat.
“When David Weil first shared “The Hunt” with me, I immediately knew that we had to be involved,” Jordan Peele told Variety. “Its cathartic, its noir. It’s frighteningly relevant. IT’s exactly what I want to see on television. I am thrilled to be working with Amazon in bringing this incredible vision to the world.”
Peele, who won an Oscar for the best original screenplay for his film “Get Out” and co-created Tracey Morgan’s “The Last OG” for TNT, is also executive producing an upcoming documentary on Lorena Bobbit.