German film and culture commentators are doubtless already warming up their typing fingers now that a supposed script of the film “Inglorious Basterds” has been leaked and published on the internet.
If the script is genuine, the film will feature Pitt as the leader of a band of American-Jewish soldiers sent behind enemy line during World War II to murder as many Nazis as they can in horrific ways.
Scenes of scalping are swiftly followed by a number of smashed Nazi skulls as one of the gang uses a baseball bat, which bears the scratched-in names of Jews in Germany.
There are also a range of cinema-buff references touching base with some of the more important German film-makers of the period.
So far, so predictable Tarantino.
But as Tobias Kniebe wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung this week, the subject matter in the film is guaranteed to provoke a strong – and equally predictable – reaction in Germany.
“Here, pop culture hits Nazi Germany and at the same time the Holocaust, with a force never seen before,” he wrote, adding that the effect of this collision cannot be predicted.
“One thing is clear – all the German historians and commentators who wildly fought for a piece of the action over Tom Cruise and his Stauffenberg, which was trying so hard to be correct, will explode in shock at ‘Inglorious Basterds,'” Kniebe wrote, referring to the controversy surrounding the wartime flick ‘Valkyrie’ about German resistence hero Claus von Stauffenberg. “And perhaps that is exactly the plan.”
German commentators last year heavily whether it was appropriate for Cruise to play Stauffenberg due to his faith Scientology, which is considered a dangerous cult in Germany.
Whether such a similar debate will be inflamed by Tarantino’s clash of pop culture and sensitive historical events in Germany will be revealed later this year.