Swing Kids was a disturbing film exposing the techniques of the nazi dictatorship in Germany during the early 1900?s. Peter, the main character is a student arrested for a petty theft. he was forced to join the Hitler Jugen (Nazi youth group) in order to avoid casting suspicion on his family. Although Peter appears to be an impressionable and faithful H.J., his heart is free of Nazi beliefs. ?Hitler Jugen by day, Swing kid by night? Is how Peter describes his disguise form the government. He is not organizing dissent groups or planning to overthrow the Nazi party, Peter is simply a fifteen year old boy who loves to swing. Swing events were forbidden by the government and many swing artists records were banned from Germany.
This film exposes the methods of indoctrination and mass amounts of propaganda executed during Adolf Hitler?s regime. The greeting ?Hile Hitler? becomes such a common re-enforcement of nationalism that children who are to young to even attend school greet people in this manner. Before a meal instead of saying grace to god, families say grace to Hitler; a perfect example of how in a system of authoritarian rule people are taught to worship their leader as opposed to a religion. The H.J. youth groups are shown many films that misrepresent the Jewish people, encouraging the German youth population to despise the Jewish people and redirect their anger at them.
I thought Swing Kids was an excellent eye opener to the horrors in Germany?s past. The film was informative, without taking on the gory or dull persona that most films about past dictatorships tend to exhibit. The plot was realistic and interesting, with excellent photography and an outstanding music selection. Watching movies as touching as this one is a good way to make any student appreciate the democratic system that we live in today.