28 October 2013
Swing Kids is a 1993 film that takes place in Hamburg, Germany in 1939. Teenagers, who called themselves Swing Kids, rebelled against the Nazis by refusing to join the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth), better known as the HJ. They wore their hair long, liked American movies, dressed in British fashion, and listened to swing music. They used the salute “Swing Heil” as a mockery of the “Heil Hitler” salute with each other. The movie follows three Swing Kids: Peter Muller, Thomas Berger, and Arvid. Peter ended up joining the HJ because he was forced to join it. Thomas joined the HJ after Peter because he believes that the Nazis cannot split up both him and Peter. They will both be deeply affected by the Nazi movement.
Peter is the main character and protagonist of this movie. He was forced join HJ after attempting to steal a radio. This was his suffering. This was also the death of his beliefs. Peter always had to hide his beliefs from the HJ leaders. The final scene shows his self-emptying. In this scene, he goes against Nazi rules and attends a swing dance at the Bismarck. The Nazis come in and assault every person there. He even fights with Thomas, his former best friend. He is then taken by the Nazis to a work camp. He rides away yelling "Swing Heil!" This shows his love and passion for his beliefs.
Willie is Peter's younger brother and the one who will gain the most from this movie. Willie's suffering is losing his father at a young age and then, at the end of the movie, losing his brother to the Nazis. He has suffered death by knowing that when Peter comes back he will be in ashes.
Willie has hope that when the Nazis fall he will be there to witness it. His love for his music and his beliefs will strengthen him.
Arvid is by far the one who suffers the most in the story. He is a cripple and constantly made fun of for his handicap. He is very passionate about his music and his beliefs about the Nazis. Arvid was the one who had little faith and hope since he was constantly put down for his physical handicap. Although he does have faith in the scene where is severely broke and mangled his hand, leaving him only able to play guitar with two fingers. He says he only needs two fingers to play and on his first show back, he plays with two fingers and even does a solo. He eventually kills himself because he saw that there was no hope left for him.
The other supporting characters in this movie shared the same hope and faith except for Heir Knopp. He was a high ranking officer of the Nazi party and had helped Peter get into the HJ. He was always against beliefs of Peter but soon he would become accustomed to them after Peter had been doing well in Hitler Youth. Another character that changed was Peter and Willie's mother. She had always been against the reich but went along with it when Heir Knopp came over and had dinner with them. She was tired...