Napoleon compared to Hitler? The controversy after the latest film about the French emperor

Napoleon (2023) director Ridley Scott also compared his figure to that of names like Stalin. As a result, historians have raised their voices.

There are only a few days left before the British director Ridley Scott release your new movie .

The filmmaker responsible for works like blade runner (1982), Thelma and Louise (1991) and Gladiator (2000), to name a fewwill publish Napoleon (2023), a film that will chronicle the rise of the historic French emperor and which will cover his relationship with his wife, Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais.

Although the title has names like Joaquin Phoenix And Vanessa Kirby in his main roles, this has not been the most commented on at the last moment.

In an interview with Empire promote Napoleon, Scott made statements that did not go unnoticed . Even less for the French public.

“I compare him to Alexander the Great, Adolf Hitler , Stalin » the director said, referring to his version of the character.

Then he added: “Listen, He has a lot of bad things under his belt. At the same time, he stood out for his courage, his ability to do things and his mastery. . “It was extraordinary.”

Faced with such comments, the academic director of the Fondation Napoléon, Pierre Branda, emphasized in an interview with The telegraph What “Hitler and Stalin built nothing and only destroyed” .

Likewise, he added that “Napoleon built things that still exist today” .

For his part, the member of the same organization, Thierry Lentz, stressed that “did not destroy or France Neither Europe » although unlike dictators like those mentioned, “His legacy was then celebrated, accepted and expanded” .

Off the big screen, on the pages of history universal, Napoleon Bonaparte has been positioned as one of the most memorable names for his political and military actions.

He came to power in 1799 after the period of French Revolution and, according to the information retrieved by the BBC , His admirers say he made France a more meritocratic country than under the Ancien Régime.

Among the acts attributed to him are that centralized the government, promoted education and promoted the Napoleonic Code a set of laws that served as a model for other countries.

However, He is also credited with brutal wars to establish his empire. .

According to historians explained to the aforementioned media, In 1812, the only regions of Europe not dominated by Bonaparte – or his alliances – were Britain, the Ottoman Empire, Portugal and Sweden. .

Several years later, In 1815 he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. .

Without a doubt, Napoleon Not only did he leave his name in the history books, but also in popular culture. .

For example, novels like Rebellion on the farm (1945) by writer George Orwell have characters with this name . In this case, it’s a pig who becomes dictator.

And although its figure may be controversial, What was said by Ridley Scott has been analyzed by various scholars with different perspectives. .

Napoleon compared to Hitler? The controversy after the last film about the French emperor. Photo: Ridley Scott.

Napoleon: analysis of historians on the words of Ridley Scott

To answer this question, the historian from the University of Newcastle in Australia and author of Napoleon: the path to power (Yale University Press, 2009), Philip Dwyer, told the BBC that “You can have a debate about whether Napoleon was a tyrant or not (I would lean towards the tyrants side), but he certainly was not a Hitler or a Stalin, who were authoritarian dictators who brutally suppressed their own people, causing millions of deaths. .

“Very few people (a number of aristocrats more or less involved in plots to overthrow the regime, including some journalists) were executed for their opposition to Napoleon. If I had to compare him to anyone, it would be to Louis XIV, an absolutist monarch who fought unnecessary wars. it cost thousands of lives.

Under this line, Dwyer emphasized: “It is also true that waged war (it is debatable whether they were necessary or not) and it cost millions of lives, although we do not know how many civilians were killed directly or indirectly for wars. »

Like him, the French columnist for the Telegraph, Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, declared to the aforementioned media: is not comparable with the dictators mentioned by Scott.

“Napoleon did not have concentration camps (…) He did not choose minorities to massacre them. Yes, there were intrusive police, but ordinary people could live as they wanted and say what they wanted. .

According to her, Most French people see him rather as a reformer, because “he had an extraordinary mind and was the instigator of the judiciary and institutions”. under which we are governed today.

“We like to think (and this is not entirely wrong) that many people were much happier under French rule than under any type of feudal laws they had before.” .

Moutet’s view is different from that of the University of Liverpool historian and author of works such as Napoleon’s wars (Editorial Critica, 2009), Charles Esdaile.

“I see him as a military leader. A man driven by personal ambition and absolutely ruthless . A man who had a clear vision of the type of France he needed to build, and even the Europe he needed to build, to support his war machine. Any idea that he was some sort of liberator, some sort of man from the future, is mostly legend. Napoleonic. »

Even like this, Esdaïle also agreed that it is not comparable with Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

“There were many flaws and He was a detestable character, but the racial ideology that characterized the Nazi regime was simply never there. He was not guilty of genocide (…) To be fair to Napoleon, the total number of political prisoners during his reign was relatively small.”

The specialist thus judged that “Comparing him to Hitler and Stalin is historical nonsense” .

The film directed by Ridley Scott will be released in Chilean cinemas on November 23 . It will arrive later on the Apple TV+ streaming service, although a date has not yet been confirmed.

Check a trailer below .

Source: Latercera


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *