Jenny Stout has asked those atteding movie night to think about these questions:
1. There was controversy in Germany over Tom Cruise being cast as Stauffenberg because of Cruise’s belief in Scientology. How does an actor’s personal life and/or beliefs affect our view of him/her? Should it affect our view and our decision to see his/her films? Think about Mel Gibson as another example.
2. Adolph Hitler has increasingly become a figure of ridicule in our popular culture. Think about both versions of The Producers (the 1960’s Mel Brooks version and the recent musical version), as well as Internet spoofs like “Hitler gets banned from Xbox Live”. Why do we laugh at Hitler?
3. Do we like watching heroic films like Valkyrie because we like to think, “If I had been there, I would have done something”? (See also: The Help. Do we like to think that if we had grown up in the segregated South, we would have stood up for civil rights?)
4. What motivates Stauffenberg? What makes him turn away from the Nazi Party? Was he just a more morally courageous person than other men and women? What about the fact that he put his wife and children in danger?
5. Could this scenario (both the rise of the Nazis/mass genocide/concentration camps AND the plot to kill Hitler) happen in America today? How do the Internet, cell phones, and social networking sites change things? (Think about the importance of the telephone in Valkyrie)