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The Cinema of István SzabóVisions of Europe$
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John Cunningham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171991

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171991.001.0001

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To Go or Stay?:

To Go or Stay?:

Taking Sides

(p.107) Chapter Eight To Go or Stay?:
The Cinema of István Szabó

John Cunningham

Columbia University Press

This chapter reviews Taking Sides (2001). Taking Sides is based on a play originally written by Ronald Harwood about the real-life investigation of the world-renowned German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler by the Allied De-Nazification Commission in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Despite the consolidation of Adolf Hitler's rule in the mid-1930s, the persecution and elimination of any political opposition, increasing anti-Semitism, Krystalnacht, the Holocaust, and World War II, Furtwängler not only stayed in Germany but held various prominent positions within the musical and artistic milieu. In Taking Sides, Szabó achieves an admirable balance between the proverbial political and personal which is nuanced, carefully constructed, and ultimately fair to both parties and their arguments.

Keywords:   film, István Szabó, Taking Sides, play, Ronald Harwood, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Allied De-Nazification Commission, World War II, Adolf Hitler, Germany

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