Nasty Girl Discussion Questions

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Discussion Questions for “The Nasty Girl” by Michael Verhoeven

1. The film begins with a shot of a “typisch” German man drinking beer and yodeling. In the next shot, we see people washing graffiti of a wall. It says “Where were you in 1939-45, and where are you now?” Why do you think Verhoeven chose to start his film with these scenes?
It provides a glimpse of modern day Germany and at the same time, hints to what the movie is about. The date range refers to WWII, and the form of the question indicates that the film may be involved with the past and a present uncovering of the past.
2. The book says this is filmed in the style of Brecht’s epic theater. Part of how this is realized in the film is the use of a narrator who talks directly to the audience (usually Sonja, but sometimes others as well.) This breaks the “fourth wall” of the theater, which normally separates the audience from the story taking place on stage. What are two instances where this happens? How does it affect how the viewer sees the story?
Sonja’s husband Martin speaks directly to the audience from their home with absolute chaos playing out
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I’m sure many towns in states like Mississippi would like to not talk about some things in their past. I would like to believe the subject of racism has matured to a fully open dialogue, but I know better than to imagine that. Just quickly searching for images on the internet for the 1930s is always a sobering trip. To think to suppress those signs and images just to stop from being embarrassed or guilty is just as bad as committing the acts again. I understand human nature may compel us to hide from that which we are ashamed of, but it is immeasurably more valuable to recognize and accept. By teaching history in the most open, honest form we are capable of, we can move forward with less risk of making the same mistakes