IRON SKY. Nazis from the dark side of the moon

This quote from Indiana Jones perfectly captures the emotions of most people regarding soldiers of the Third Reich, but only… in brutal reality.

Jacek Lubiński

12 March 2024

IRON SKY. Nazis from the dark side of the moon

On the big screen, Nazis are more… fascinating (even if they do so under the facade of fear and violence), not to mention how swiftly they become a topic of interest. So, disregarding numerous propaganda films from bygone eras, as well as a few contemporary films, which perhaps portray not so much the goodness of German soldiers but their human face (Downfall, The Pianist), the ‘offspring’ of Hitler are actually highly desirable in cinema.

Their role, however, is insignificant. Whether they serve merely as cannon fodder (in most adventure-war productions, led by the cult classic The Eagle Has Landed), an ironic outlet for directorial visions (somewhat cultish Inglourious Basterds), or a novelty added to the genre itself (Dead Snow) – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are there. The perfect embodiment of the above is precisely Iron Sky – a film born out of a peculiar fascination with the subject matter.

Iron Sky

After all, what could be better than a bunch of Nazi scoundrels who literally escaped to the Moon shortly after the end of World War II, only to grow in power and eventually invade the unsuspecting inhabitants of 21st-century Earth? Probably nothing – at least that’s what numerous internet users and private donors thought, who enthusiastically responded to the creators’ small announcement on their website. But that’s not the end of fascist support – when (6 years later) the film was ready, it turned out it might only rest on the director’s shelf, or perhaps compete for a few awards at independent festivals. However, the interest was too significant; the internet once again helped, and soon Iron Sky found its distributors all over Europe. The question remains: was it worth waiting/paying/sacrificing time for something that sounded cool only on paper, as a brief teaser or a community anecdote?

Iron Sky Julia Dietze Götz Otto

Unfortunately, it’s hard to give a clear answer because Iron Sky only partially satisfies, and it probably would have worked better as a short film after all.

Iron Sky

Interestingly, it’s difficult to blame either the creators or individual elements of Iron Sky here. The main attraction of the film works well – those (not so) glorious Aryans in their cosmic, flying machines and always neat, beautiful uniforms (which certainly contribute at least a little to the aforementioned fascination – after all, say what you will about Germans, they always had great uniforms). Their invasion of our planet also works – both in terms of CGI at a really high level and the visual side as a whole (the scene of the American ship landing on the Moon looks great!), as well as the joy of watching the chaos. The actors work well – mostly professionals with a rich filmography – the fantastic set design works, as does the eclectic and twisted music by Laibach, and the whole thing is imbued with a pleasant atmosphere, additionally seasoned with quite intelligent and often genuinely funny humor (especially in political matters). However, something didn’t quite click…

Iron Sky Udo Kier

Despite all these fully professional elements, the film… is boring.

Not only does it take quite a while to get going, not all jokes and cultural references hit the mark (and probably not everyone will catch them all – in my screening, the audience didn’t react at all to a great interpretation of the famous scene from Downfall, which once flooded the internet with various variations referring to the world of games and music), not all threads are fascinating, and the whole thing feels quite cumbersome to watch.

Iron Sky Christopher Kirby Julia Dietze

The best parts of Iron Sky – both in terms of humor and action – are served towards the end, but by then, one watches more out of momentum than genuine curiosity about the fate of the characters/story. Unfortunately, the tension and pace of the film (which is relatively short anyway) often falter, making it hard to speak of true satisfaction, and the smile on one’s face doesn’t appear as often as one might expect. Well, at least not sober…

Iron Sky

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting and, to put it plainly, unconventional film that makes up for its shortcomings and stumbles with incredible passion, attention to detail, and fabulous stylization. It’s worth going to the cinema, as there simply might not be another opportunity like this (even if Nazis show up in some other film – and they surely will). The rest is silence. And a matter of taste…”


Jacek Lubiński

CINEMA - a powerful tool that I absorb, eat, devour, savor. Often tempting only the most favorite ones, which it is impossible to list them all, and sometimes literally everything. In the cinema, I am primarily looking for magic and "that something" that allows you to forget about yourself and the gray everyday life, and at the same time makes you sensitive to certain things that surround us. Because if there is no emotion in the cinema, there is no room for a human being - there is only a semi-finished product that is eaten together with popcorn, and then excreted just as smoothly. That is why I value most the creators who can include a piece of heart and passion in their work - those for whom making films is not an ordinary profession, but an extraordinary adventure that overcomes all barriers, discovers new lands and broadens horizons, giving free rein to imagination.

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