The French documentary film Le Système Octogon is based upon the thesis formedby two investigative journalists (Fabrizio Calvi and Frank Garbely) who suggest that as World War II drew to a close a significant amount of Nazi gold was hidden away only to resurface – after the war had ended – to help fund the German political party, the Christian Democratic Union and to have further wide-reaching influences within political circles over the decades after the war. A major part of the network, the “Octogon Trust” was a front company set up by an arms dealer and it functioned as the channel for this secret funding. Using archive footage from the remnants of war-torn Germany, plus photos and expert interviews, director Jean-Michel Meurice weaves a narrative that describes the extent of this far-reaching corruption and details the role former Nazis and the Nazi finances played in the whole system.
Contemporary jazz composer Patrice Mestral has provided music for over twenty scores for film and television spanning over 40 years. For Le Système Octogon Mestral has composed an orchestral score that succeeds in adding an oppressive and somewhat bleak quality to the documentary. Scoring the archive, newsreel-type footage, Mestral has chosen to leave the interviews with various experts free of music. Covering the years immediately after World War II through to the building of the Berlin Wall in the early 1960s, punchy brass figures, staccato string patterns, dissonant and discordant passages with unsettling textures all build a sense of unease. Archive film of bombed cities (“Allemagne Année Zéro”), helpless refugees and even footage of anonymous people doing mundane tasks (“Les Nazis Se Recyclent”) are all given a sense of hopelessness with Mestral’s overarching commentary. Read the rest of this entry »