Marisa, a 20-year old girl, is a woman filled with absolute hatred. She blames foreigners, jews, and pretty much any authority figure for the "decline" of her country. She spends her days provoking fights, drinking, and partying with her Neo-Nazi gang. When Marisa's hatred leads to her running two Afghan refugees off the road with her car, her underlying empathy which has long been buried under her tough exterior begins to come to the surface. David Wnendt's Combat Girls is a film about blind hatred, and the consequences of repercussions which exist when one lives their life in such a fashion. What sets Combat Girls above most other Neo-nazi films is just how well-developed Marisa is as a character. The only person which Marisa looks up too is her dying grandfather and the film subtlety suggests that he is really the one responsible for her going down this path of hatred. We are never told this in a blunt way, but the way her grandfather speaks of his regrets coupled with Marisa's mothers scorn towards both her daughter and her father's actions supplies enough evidence that Marisa didn't grow up in a normal household. The change in Marisa is also handled with supreme care, with multiple factors such as the afhgan boy and her dying grandfather, both playing a factor in her realization. There is no one moment which defines her change, rather a succession of events which slowly eat away at her blind hatred. The other important aspect of the story centers around the character of Svenja, a 14-year-old girl, who has just joined the gang is a perfect complimentary piece to the story. Young and naive, Svenja blindly buys into this regime of hatred, heading down the same path as Marisa. The two characters provide a great parallel to this story, capturing the circular motion of hate. David Wnendt's Combat Girls is a touching and authentic look into hatred which primarily succeeds because of its realism and poetic
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