I don't remember having seen this film ever in its entirety, and it is a long time since I have seen any excerpts, so I cannot claim real xpertise here. However, while you are certainly right to point out the film's seductive qualities, remember that it was made well before the start of the second world war and the deportation of citizens of Jewish origin, even before, if memory serves, the "Reichskristallnacht". At that time, the full terror had not yet been revealed, though many signs were certainly in the air for those with eyes to see.
Originally Posted by Helen B
But I don't really want to argue against you, and neither, funny as this may sound, against Michael. No, art is not divisible from its message, I certainly don't believe there is a "pure aesthetics" - I rather think the aesthetical dimension is inherently linked to the ethical one. And yes, humans fail, and not only in such times, and if they establish something, it is more often than not through many errors and shortcomings - or so I understand you, Michael.
And Roger, I can only agree. The reason I forgot to mention Mao was that Hitler and Stalin were linked together, and started the 2nd world war (through their "sharing" of Polland).