The film Taking Sides was produced after the Second World War. It presents the story of a musical director who is faced with a moral question of whether he should continue to stay in Germany or leave. He chooses to stay in Germany when the war begins. He has been a figure of admiration by Hitler who admires his work and his chosen kind of music so when the war was over he became a target. They began to accuse him of being a Nazi. The film is story of his quest to prove his innocence. The story takes a political position as he tries to prove his innocence in a court of law.
The film adopts interrogative approach as the prosecutor competes with defense lawyer over the innocence of Mr. Furtwangler. The film involves questioning and perusing through files that had been confiscated from the accused. His decision to stay in the country drew suspicion on him as Nazi. He took the responsibility of helping the Jews find a life in Germany; the music conductor has a great personality and enduring spirit. The movie is a probe of political bullying happening at the time in which the Nazi were the targets any one who was suspected to be a Nazi was taken to court for questioning.
This was the people way to get to Hitler’s allies so that they could be eliminated. This elimination was targeted on people who had good opportunities in the country so that they could take them from them. The countrymen felt they should eliminate the Nazi if they wanted the good jobs and good opportunity.” Now we can’t take every Nazi in this country to trial, although I would like to; it’s an impossibility. So we’re going for the big boys in industry, education, law, culture”. The conduct was man of character and avoided all manner of confrontation with him. He defended his course with all the energy he had. He also stated his mission in to the country and his dedication to help the Jews find comfort in Germany. The authorities learn that he has helped several Jews leave the country because he has connection in the higher places. His good intention is a minus for him because they incriminate him.
In his defense, Furtwangler notes that he had love for art and music, which was more important than politics that could bring the debate into the two sides perceptive of taking sides. The investigator is adamant to nail down the conductor but ignorant of the simple matters of the case he can to get the difference between the “band leader” and “great leader”. He tells him if though he is not guilty he has been with guilty people and he has helped them thus he is equally guilty, this he is explains in the statement , that if you shake the devil’s hand it doesn’t matter that you do so lightly and motivated by the lofty aim of preserving a country’s cultural heritage.
He is well ware that the conductor is innocent but he is determined to bring him down to prove some thing to himself, “Well, he’s more than just a bandleader, Steve.” He is a great conductor, a gifted artist. But we believe that he sold himself to the devil. Your number one priority from this moment on is to connect him to the Nazi Party. Do not be impressed by him. I want the folks back home to understand why we fought this war. Find Wilhelm Furtwangler guilty. He represents everything that was rotten in Germany.” This statement was said by Wallace to Steve when they had gone to see Mr. Furtwangler performance. The statement shows they are not really looking for criminals but people they feel are better than them or people who seem to have had better opportunities than they have. They city is rotten with injustices and political malice.
They practice injustice against people and pretence to care about their plights when all along they had been hurting them. They organize trials to persecute them letting the world believe that they are concerned with their welfare. He says “we must be seen to be just”, he further says he does not care what they are about only that they must be eliminated from the society because they do not stand in the standards of the new Germany. The country is so keen on what happens to them politically although they are keen to make sure that they eliminate anybody who was associated to the Hitler and his governance. The radio advised its listeners to avoid saluting a beautiful girl because if they do they will be saluting Hitler and his reign of bloodshed. This shows the country is trying to come to terms with its dark political side.
Emmi is helping the lieutenant to find evidence against the Furtwangler knowledge even if she knows very well that he is not a guilty man. She is torn between telling the lieutenant present inquiries into his activities but the lieutenant advise her not to and she complies. Furtwangler had helped her and yet she could not find one good reason to pay one good deed with another. This shows how ethics had been ignored in the country and nobody seemed to care about other people. Werner a fellow musician who has also been taken for questioning defends his friends honor and says he is an honorable man. When lieutenant realizes he will not get information that could incriminate him to the Nazi he begins to put words in his mouth telling him the fact that he went to perform on Hitler’s birthday shows he is Nazi. Werner tells him he refused to salute Hitler, which shows he did not have reverence for him at all.
The film exhibits Existentialism because despite Furtwangler innocence they still maintain that he is guilty of the crime leveled against him. The persecutors are obsessed with the need to find him guilty because they believe he was a beneficially of the Hitler’s government and that he got the best out of life because he was an ally to people in the high places. They twist stories; they harass his friends ply into his private life as they try to find anything that would incriminate him even piece of his music. Finally, in the last desperate attempts to nail him they accuse him of performing for Hitler in his birthday and saluting the Nazi after the performance. Something he did not do because he despised them.