Stalags were WWII prisoner-of-war camps, but the term is also used to describe the Nazi-themed pornography that became popular in the early 1960s around the time Adolf Eichmann was brought to trial for war crimes committed during the Holocaust. Ari Libsker’s film details how books like I Was Colonel Schultz’s Private Bitch luridly conflated sex and violence, titillating and offending its predominately Israeli audience with its sordid tales of female SS officers torturing and sexually abusing prisoners, in some cases British and American pilots. The popular rise of these books seemed to occur in tandem with the drama of Eichmann’s trial, which allowed people to speak about the Holocaust more openly and without shame. Libsker’s interviewees refer to the stalags with an expected mixture of seriousness and giddiness, but they’re more eager to put these books into a historical context than a psychological one. Because only one talking head, an Israeli man who thrills at the idea of sex with the German girlfriend whose grandfather was an SS officer, sufficiently conveys how stalags, in their perverse mingling of fiction and fantasy, rouse feelings of empowerment, the documentary remains slight. Accompanying the film during its one-week run at the Film Forum is the 16-minute Two Women and a Man, a convincingly dull portrait of Jewish Belgian pornographer and artist Justine Frank, famous for work that mixed Jewish themes and explicit erotica—convincing because Frank is really a figment of director Roee Rosen’s imagination!
- 63 min
- Ari Libsker
- Ari Libsker
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