In 2009, writer-director, Quentin Tarantino, released his long-awaited film titled, Inglourious Basterds. Mr. Tarantino took over ten years to complete his film and it was successfully received by selling over $314 million in sales worldwide.
When asked at the Cannes Film Festival about the mis-spelling of his movie, Tarantino said,
“I’m never going to explain that. When you do an artistic flourish like that, to describe it, to explain it, would just … invalidate the whole stroke in the first place.”
Inglourious Basterds is about an elite group of Jewish-American soldiers who spread fear throughout Nazi-Occupied France during World War II. Their tactics are violent and brutal. As Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) says to his new recruits,
“We will be cruel to the Germans and through our cruelty they will know who we are…the German will be sickened by us and the German will talk about us and the German will fear us”.
Lt. Raine’s strategies work as planned and the Germans are afraid, including their leader, Adolph Hitler.
Throughout the movie we are introduced to characters on both sides of the war. Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) is a highly skilled SS interrogator who also uses brutal tactics to get what he wants. He’s known as the “The Jew Hunter” and uses his charm to relentlessly pursue his targets.
The plot is centered around a film premier of a new German movie Nation’s Pride commissioned by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the number two man in Hitler’s Third Reich.
Goebbels’ movie is about the German hero, Pvt. Fredrick Zoller, a sniper, who single-handedly killed over 300 ‘enemies’. Pvt. Zoller is a hero and a source of nationalistic pride for Germany.
Because of his new hero status, he’s able to convince Goebbels to premier the film at a new location, owned by Emmanuelle Mimieux.
Emmanuelle is introduced to us at the beginning of the film as a young girl named Shosanna Dreyfus. Unbeknown to the Third Reich elite, she witnessed the demise of her family at the hands of Col. Landa and is eager to avenge their death during the premier of Nation’s Pride. Shosanna plans get a boost when she learns that Adolf Hitler and his top four leaders plan to attend.
At the beginning of the movie, it seems clear who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. As the movie progresses however, good and bad become harder to discern.
Each character’s behavior is a match for the other side in one form or another.
The more brutal the bad guys get, the good guys meet them at their game and then escalate. Each side’s actions seem justified because they are defending the pride and honor of their country. This nationalism becomes a driving force that seeks to win at any cost, regardless of the tactics chosen.
Each side believes it’s justified in serving justice through violence and vengeance. Both sides believe that justice through violence and vengeance is the only course of action.
This movie allows us to take a look at vengeance and justice.
Is vengeance delicious justice to be celebrated?
Do the ends justify the means?
Isn’t our ability to force outcomes using any tactics necessary a sign of strength?
If we didn’t, wouldn’t we all live in fear that our country could be harmed or at worse, the bad guys win? These questions keep us from discovering new possibilities to resolve conflict. If each of us believe that force is the only winning formula that works, we’ll certainly be unable to find new peaceful solutions to the challenges we face as individuals and as a country.
Inglourious Basterds is a powerful film because it also shows how “like attracts like”. When you give your complete attention and focus to anything there’s a type of union with it.
The stronger the focus, the more you become one with it. A type of passion sets in and it’s powerful. Unfortunately, we don’t realize how this can affect our lives when our focus becomes vengeance. It’s all consuming and merges us with what we deem bad and evil. Especially when it’s laced with fear.
Fear keeps good and evil inextricably linked.
The path of passionate vengeance may feel good for a little while, but it won’t lead to peace of mind. Because there will always be another injustice to focus on, be it in the work place, at home, or in our politics. Until we can discover a new approach with injustice as individuals, we’ll continue to rail against it in our daily lives, unconsciously seeking vengeance.
It’s not a path to peace and won’t lead us to discover new solutions to our challenges. It is a “win-lose” approach to settling differences and problems.
If you truly seek peace, tolerance is the first step to finding “win-win” outcomes in your life. You have a choice: you can react to perceived injustice with fear and vengeance or respond with tolerance and love.
While Mr. Tarantino may never reveal why he intentionally mis-spelled the title to his film, we have a hunch it’s because of the message he’s sending.
“Inglourious” should be spelled inglorious, meaning without courage or glory and it’s spelled without a “u”. Basterd is correctly spelled, bastard.
We believe he’s saying that all of the characters in the movie were disgraceful “terds”.
But why did he mis-spell Inglourious?
The answer could lie in the way he wrote the ending, which we won’t reveal in this post.
We encourage you to watch this film in its entirety and see how you feel at the end of the movie. Perhaps the intentional placing of the “u” in “Inglourious” was Mr. Tarantino’s clever way of saying, when you use or condone the same violent tactics as the bad guys, you’re one of the “Basterds” too.
If you catch yourself seeking vengeance in any area of your life, take a look at this movie. It just might motivate you to look for another approach.
The Steps To Energetically Benefit from This Alignment Session:
- If you haven’t done the Intention Session, then do this first and only once. Think of it as downloading an App on your smartphone. Once completed then you’re ready to benefit from any of our Alignment movies/TV shows.
- Watch Inglourious Basterds available online.
- If you notice a shift in the subsequent days, please pass this blog to someone you know who might appreciate it.