My apologies to Kino Lorber and publicist Sasha Berman for not posting my recent chat with Vanessa Lapa, director of The Decent One, until today. Lapa has assembled a fascinating and commendable film, and deserves respect for having devoted six years to making it happen. I posted a short riff about the Heinrich Himmler doc after catching it at Manhattan’s Film Forum. Evil always carries a certain fascination, but Lapa’s film dilutes this effect somewhat by constantly quoting Himmler’s views of himself, which of course were positive. As noted earlier, “We all understand that evil always figures out a way to justify or at least live with itself…so Himmler’s letters and journals merely underline the human capacity for self-delusion.” In short, all monsters see themselves as decent guys who did what needed to be done. Again, the mp3.
The Decent One director Vanesa Lapa during last Thursday’s chat at the Farmer’s Market (i.e., right outside Dupar’s).
My only lament is that after hanging with this fiend for 116 minutes, you want to wallow in his death a bit more. Himmler committed suicide by biting on a cyanide capsule, but you’d kinda like to listen to him choke and gasp during his final convulsions. When it comes time to show Himmler’s corpse Lapa uses a medium shot taken from a rather bad angle. I went searching through various Himmler docs on YouTube and found a nice close-up (i.e., below) and this British officer’s account of Himmler’s final minutes. It is emotionally satisfying to hear this.