Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lily of the Lamp Light

A Documentary Review

More then her acting and singing careers, or even her admirable service entertaining Allied troops during World War Two, the aspect of the life of Marlene Dietrich that generayl commands the most attention is her much discussed romantic exploits. While French actor Jean Gabin is perhaps her most well known lover, she is rumored to have been "intament" with a string 20th Century celebritys running the spectrum from General George S. Patton to actress Greta Garbo. It is this tablody conception of her life that receives some counterbalance from the documentary Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song, which focuses not on her romances or career, but her role in, and relationship to her native German culture. The daughter of a Prussian military officer Dietrich maintained her family discipline while simultaneously breaking with Germanic tradition in her unconvertible life style, and opposition to Nazism even in the movements early years in power. Far from a complete picture of its intriguing subjects life, Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song at least provides the service of bringing to light some of her more nobel, but increasingly forgotten qualities.


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