WARNING: if you continue reading you may come across spoilers on the two seasons of Hunters!!
Is there a way to fix the greatest injustice in history? Is there perhaps, somewhere, a form of compensation for the suffering suffered due to the spread of absolute evil? Is it right to expect someone to pay for the crimes of the world? The tale of Hunters – a bit Tarantino-like, a bit moralistic, a bit cartoonish – frees the memory from the brushwood of indolence and oblivion into which the uncomfortable, lacerating stories that still torment the human soul and leave it defenseless fall , and tries to give vent to an anxiety for revenge that hasn’t yet found satisfaction (and could it ever find it?). David Weil is the creator of the series distributed by Amazon Prime Video and just concluded with the release of its final season. The American showrunner – author of another Amazon Prime product, the anthological miniseries Soloshumanity’s dying solo – is a Jew, the grandson of Jewish concentration camp survivors during the Holocaust, so his take on the story told in Hunters it is not entirely detached. Nor could it be, since every screenwriter uses the medium of television and his stories for convey something. A feeling, a message, a vision, an alarm.
Hunters presents itself as an adrenaline-filled and violent show, with that subtle vein of humor that brings it closer to Tarantino’s cinema.
The hunters in the series are generation 2.0 gods Inglourious Basterds who killed the Nazis during World War II. They, the protagonists of Hunters, they hunt down the hierarchs thirty years after the end of the conflict. They track them down, unmask them, extract confessions from them and then kill them. Sometimes by mistake, other times for revenge. Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman) gets caught up in this dark game quite by accident. Or maybe for a preordained design of fate. The fact is that the young New York Jew, grandson of a concentration camp survivor, finds himself embracing the cause of his people, invested with the disproportionate task of do justice. Victims become in Hunters the executioners. And as a result, the perpetrators somehow become the victims. Some of them are tied up and tortured before being killed. It is earthly justice that falls on their heads. Survivors of post-conflict trials, fled to the United States under false names, those responsible for many atrocities in Nazi Germany tried to rebuild their lives away from the ruins of the Reich, in America which gives asylum to everyone and which also represents for them a chance of rebirth. Not that they have converted to nobler intentions, far from it. Weil had to maintain villain status for them, he imagined them as gods demons in sheep’s clothing, nostalgic for Nazism disguised as middle-class people with clean faces and swimming pools in their backyards. But those who have worn an SS uniform never really change. It is the soul of him that is marcio, his conscience which is corrupted. and to thatcruelty that led to the extermination of six million Jews, a barrier, a remedy must be put in place.
This is how the theme of revenge takes over the heart of this series.
The hunters set out on the trail of the Nazis to avenge the dead in the camps, the suffering suffered by their people. If they don’t exist the good ones in Huntersthe same cannot be said of the bad guys. These take root in the heart of society, they spoil it with their crazy intentions and, if the justice of the state fails to eradicate the evil they represent, someone will have to take on the honor of doing it for him. We manage to condemn the cruel actions of hunters led by Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino)? Do we feel sympathy for these characters? Can we empathize with their battle? Do we approve or disapprove of what we see? Because, beyond the engaging plot and the dynamism of its narrative sequences, this Amazon Prime Video show leads us to reflect on much more lacerating issues than they might seem at a more superficial glance. The decisions made by the hunters, their deliberate choice to surrender to the darkness, is the result of a discouraging realization: justice fails. Justice does not fully compensate, it does not guarantee the victims, it does not punish the guilty. Men who have committed such inhuman crimes travel free in the homeland of democracy. Undisturbed, protected, even smiling. The extent of the penalties, if they are imposed, is not commensurate with the atrocity of the crime (but could it ever really be so?). The scoundrels get away with it and even one of the greatest monsters in history could elude justice.
In the final episode of HuntersWeil wants to show us how legal loopholes, questions of jurisdiction, reference to the burden of proof and other defensive devices could save even Adolf Hitler from the court conviction. The FBI agent Millie Morris (Jerrika Hinton) is a character built to show theinconsistency of state justice. The bad management of the federal investigations, the corruption and the apathy of certain investigative offices are proof of an inefficiency of the judicial system that pushes the victims to protect themselves. To do justice on their own. In addition to presenting a fun and dynamic product that draws the viewer into the heart of the action, Hunters also wants to show the criticality of the justice machine. Criticalities that in the series are overcome by following a faster route: that of ruthless hunting. A hunt that transforms you, that changes you, damages you, stains your soul forever. The best revenge is not to be like your enemyMarcus Aurelius said. But the aged Roman emperor had never seen the Holocaust. The characters of Hunters they can’t always pull the trigger, the desire to stem evil is sometimes too blinding.
Evil inevitably transforms those who are touched by it.
In a manner irreversible, as evidenced by the final scene of the second season. What appears to be a simple honeymoon vacation in Miami, an unexpected return to normality, instead conceals the dark intentions of Jonah, who has marked a new victim (the latest?) On his hunting list. Is it proof that evil corrupts forever? What is it that David Weil really wants to tell us with the Amazon Prime series? That the normal course of history got stuck one day on the most atrocious of monstrosities, an abomination such that the whole of humanity will remain marked forever. Hunters it is above all an invitation not to forget, made by someone like Weil who has more than one personal reason to help keep the memory alive. This series seems to want give an opportunity for revenge to history itself, albeit in fiction. The final trial of Adolf Hitler takes on a different tone than the rest of the storyline. More rhetorical, perhaps. Much more emphatic and moralizing. It is a sort of small revenge that humanity takes against the greatest crime in history. There condemnation of Hitler – as well as the final news that Harriet (Kate Mulvany) leads to Jonah, when she tells him that Meyer arranged for her grandmother’s murder – it should be disclaimer, compensate at least a part of the suffering suffered. This is why there is a tendency to justify violence: because it serves to punish more violence. Or is it simply vendetta? A real sense of peace, proper compensation, on a trauma like that, you can never really get. It is with this bitter – and perhaps unconscious – awareness that he leaves us Hunters. Which is a series that tried to dodge the rubble, but only got back new heavy boulders.