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Mr Death : The Rise and fall of Fred A Leuchter [Documentary]

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695.80 MB
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Date: 1999
Media type: Audio/Video
Audio format: Mpeg Layer 3
Audio bitrate: 128kbps
Video format: DivX
Video attributes: 640x336, 23fps,
Quality: Excellent

From IMDB: Plot Outline: A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier. Documentary about Fred Leuchter, an engineer who became an expert on execution devices and was later hired by revisionist historian Ernst Zundel to "prove" that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. Leuchter published a controversial report confirming Zundel's position, which ultimately ruined his own career. Most of the footage is of Leuchter, puttering around execution facilities or chipping away at the walls of Auschwitz, but Morris also interviews various historians, associates, and neighbors. "Mr. Death" is a fascinating character study of a man that -- on the surface -- would seem like a Hollywood creation: a simpleton, obsessed with devising ever more efficient ways to kill people. If Tim Burton were making such a film, and cast Mr. Leuchter to play the lead, it would be perfectly quirky little work of fiction. But this is Errol Morris -- a documentarian well known for works serious ( "Thin Blue Line" ), cerebral ( "A Brief History of Time" ) and yes, quirky ( "Fast, Cheap and Out-of-Control" ). And this Mr. Leuchter is very real indeed. What Mr. Leuchter is NOT, is a simpleton, obsessed with creating more efficient ways to kill people. In a very curious lapse of content, Morris touches on Leuchter's boyhood relationship with his Father and experiences in the Massachusetts State Penitentiary, then jumps forward two decades to when Leuchter started improving lethal devices at the request of prisons. Morris neglects to mention that Leuchter is in fact something of a genius, who did post-graduate studies at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory. Who invented and patented the first electronic sextant, and holds other patents as well. Who invented the 3-D photomapping camera system used by helicopters, that is still the industry standard. Who is also an accomplished pianist. Leuchter is no Forrest Gump, but Morris seems contented to give us that impression. Particularly in the first 15 minutes, Leuchter is shown looking goofy, like a bumpkin, even maniacal. If we were shown home movies of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue and doing other wacky things, we might conclude the same of him, if we didn't know better. I'm not suggesting that Leuchter is Einstein's equal, just that goofy behavior does not a goof make.

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Feb 26, 2006, 10:02:10

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