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No. 82: Inglourious Basterds

Jews unleash hell on the Third Reich

Jody Rosen
December 05, 2011

2009, dir. Quentin Tarantino. It took a goy to make the anti-Schindler’s List: cinema’s most cartoonishly potent Jewish revenge fantasy, in which a crack unit of Jewish Allied soldiers assassinate Hitler and Goebells, scalp Nazis, and otherwise unleash hell on the Third Reich. For decades to come, Jewish-studies doctoral candidates will be pondering Quentin Tarantino’s philo-Semitism and the semiotics of the Bear Jew. The rest of us may simply wish to revel in the movie’s deliciously over-the-top Tarantino-ness: the awesome Ennio Morricone music, the stupendous opening interrogation scene, and Christoph Waltz’s terrifying and hilarious Oscar-winning performance as “Jew Hunter” Hans Landa.

Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.