German Flick Quietly Reclaims the Red Baron as War Hero

Breaks taboo against positive portrayal
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2008 3:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Films extolling German war heroes aren’t exactly abundant, but upcoming movie The Red Baron shines the spotlight on the noble, softer side of Germany’s most famous fighter pilot. “There are strong voices in Germany still saying we're not allowed to do this,” says the writer/director. “But the film makes a very clear statement against war.”

Manfred von Richthofen shot down 80 Canadian, British, and Australian pilots before his death in April 1918, reports the Guardian, at the age of 25. And the new focus on him also helps sate a recent interest in Germany’s wartime past, including 2004’s Downfall and this year’s Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise as the German colonel who attempted to assassinate Hitler.