Netflix’s new documentary titled Europe’s Most Dangerous Man: Otto Skorzeny in Spain aka L’home més perillós d’Europa: Otto Skorzeny a Espanya is another tremendous addition to Netflix’s collection of investigative documentaries. With a run time of one hour and several minutes, the documentary retells the story of Otto Skorzeny and most essentially, his life post World War 2 in Spain.
The docu-film is directed by Pedro De Echave (who also serves as the writer for this documentary) and Pablo Azorin, who have featured real-life people be it Skorzeny’s daughter or a journalist that interviewed him with expert guidance from well-known historians and researchers, leaves no stone turned.
– Europe’s Most Dangerous Man: Otto Skorzeny in Spain Review does not contain spoilers –
The Life of Otto Skorzeny Through Netflix’s New Release
For the ones who are not aware, Skorzeny was a close Hitler ally who commanded Germany’s Waffen SS during WWII. He is known best for his rescue of Mussolini from prison in Gran Sasso, Italy. He later became an adviser to world presidents. This SS commander never renounced Nazism even after the fall of Hitler and the Reich. However, his life after the events of World War II were not known until recently.
Skorzeny was also remarkably known as “Scarface” due to the presence of a huge scar across the left side of his face that he gained due to a traditional duelling match at his educational institute and proudly flaunted it all through his life.
This documentary, Europe’s Most Dangerous Man: Otto Skorzeny in Spain, covers the known and the unknown aspects of the man’s life. We get an insight into how Skorzeny escaped to Spain under the protection of the Franco dictatorship and set up a business in Madrid. His friendly relationships with fellow Nazi fugitives and his long summer stays at Mallorca also get the spotlight through this documentary.
Another shocking and provocative insight this documentary offers is Skorzeny’s activities as an international spy which made him a fearful figure worldwide.
Through access to the militant’s private archives, directors Pedro De Echave and Pablo Azorin tell us the life of Skorzeny beyond borders after the fire of World War II extinguished that he lived for 25 years. Netflix goes all out as it shows close-ups from the unpublished 8mm films and photographs. Curious declassified CIA and FBI documents are revealed to fully analyze the life of Otto Skorzeny.
Like every other documentary, this too is told in a non-linear manner with interviews and flashbacks. There is the use of real footage and photographs as old as the Nazi regime and few even before that. The opening credit sets the perfect tone for the documentary to take place as we see snippets of World War II life on a grainy palette lined with cigar smokes.
There is a personal touch to the documentary be it getting Waltraut Riess, daughter of Otto Skorzeny, on-screen or the flashing of Otto’s pictures with his wife, friends and family. The documentary does not try hard to make us hate Otto Skorzeny because it is impossible to overlook the horrors the Nazis spread during their time, instead it gives us access to fear the times we are not a part of and reflect on the tyranny and hardships of those times.
Europe’s Most Dangerous Man: Otto Skorzeny in Spain: Final Thoughts
Go ahead and watch it! The docu-film is not time-consuming and yet, informative about things from the Nazi Regime that needs more attention and analysis. Produced by Quindrop, IB3 and TVE, the audio for this political documentary is originally in European Spanish. However, subtitles are available in English for easy consumption.
Europe’s Most Dangerous Man: Otto Skorzeny in Spain is streaming now on Netflix.