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New Release Review [Netflix] - AND TOMORROW THE ENTIRE WORLD

And Tomorrow the Entire World review
A young student gets involved with an anti-fascist group.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Julia von Heinz

Starring: Mala Emde, Noah Saavedra, Tonio Schneider, Andreas Lust, Luisa-Céline Gaffron

And Tomorrow the Entire World poster

Julia von Heinz's And Tomorrow the Entire World opens with a passage from Germany's constitution which states that the country's citizens have the right to fight using any means necessary if democracy is threatened. Given Germany's history, you can see why it was originally written in, but those who drew up the constitution couldn't have foreseen the 21st century, when the slightest grievance causes citizens to compare their government to the regime Nazi Germany. The phrase "Nazi" is flung about so often now by those on both sides of the political fence that it's in danger of becoming meaningless.

Of course, genuine Nazis are on the rise again, and worryingly, they seem to be gaining traction in Germany of all places. 20-year-old Law student Luisa (Mala Emde) wants to battle the emerging Fourth Reich and so accepts her friend's offer of joining an anti-fascist commune. For most of the commune members, fighting fascism equates to selling home-grown produce at vegan markets, painting banners and shouting slogans. Under the leadership of Lenor (Tonio Schneider), they deliberately avoid violence, believing it would undermine their message.

And Tomorrow the Entire World review

Among the ranks however is Alfa (Noah Saavedra), who believes that the only way forward is to take on the Nazis at their own game. When Luisa steals a burner phone from a skinhead at a rally, Alfa and Lenor go through its contents and uncover a conspiracy involving a notorious Nazi who went underground a couple of years ago but who seems to be secretly leading a new generation. This leads them to find a secret stash of explosives equipment, which fuels Alfa's desire to escalate his campaign. Driven by her attraction to Alfa, Luisa rejects the commune's pacifist philosophy and joins Alfa in smashing up Nazis' cars and faces.


For a movie that tackles such a hot button issue, And Tomorrow the Entire World is surprisingly lacking in political depth. We know what Luisa and her buddies are fighting against, but it's never made clear what they're fighting for. Luisa's motivations are equally ambiguous. She doesn't seem to have any definable political convictions of her own. Does she join the commune to strike back against her upper middle class parents? Is she horny for Alfa? Or does she simply enjoy the adrenaline rush of a good ruck?

And Tomorrow the Entire World review

The film's refusal to get off the fence makes it play a lot like a centrist news report that blames "both sides" whenever such trouble kicks off. If Luisa's goals and motivations were more clearly defined we might find it easier to engage with her, but her ambiguity creates a distance and we're left to simply watch as she's led down a troubling path.


So uninvested in the details of its politics is von Heinz's film that it could be interchangeable with any generic story of someone getting sucked in and seduced by a dangerous movement. It plays a lot like all those British movies where some troubled young man finds a new lease of life through football hooliganism. So paper thin are the Nazis and anti-fascists that when they strike blows we might as well be watching Millwall and West Ham fans having a rumble.

And Tomorrow the Entire World review

The only time the movie appears to express an opinion is through the character of Dietmar (Andreas Lust), a middle-aged man who spent 20 years behind bars for his involvement in terrorism in the 1980s. Dietmar becomes something of a paternal figure for Luisa, trying to dissuade her from getting involved with Alfa's plans. What then is the film's message - fascists should be ignored and fighting them is pointless? That's quite a stance for a German movie to take.

And Tomorrow the Entire World is on Netflix UK/ROI now.



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