The Amazon Prime original, set in the late 1970s, follows a group of skilled individuals who hunt and bring Nazis to justice for their crimes during the war. But is the show accurate and respectful of its time period and the Holocaust?
Get Out’s Jordan Peele acts as executive producer on the show while relative newcomer David Weil is the shows creator. Weil came onto Amazon and Peele’s radar thanks to an 80-page series ‘bible’ describing his first season of the show who was inspired by his own grandmother, a holocaust survivor. Jordan Peele’s previous work on things like Get Out and Us shows that he isn’t afraid to address serious issues within his work like class and racism. But has Hunters accomplished the same effectiveness or instead just insensitive? Personally, I think the latter.
Rather than addressing horrifying things that actually happened, Hunters thought it was better to make their own up in order to try and make the show more entertaining.
While parts of the show are based on truth, like how some Nazis did flee to America, a great deal of the show is fictional. I feel the show spends too much time highlighting some truly awful acts committed during the Holocaust only for the purpose of creating one-episode villains. And for the most part, it seems like a majority of the Nazis in the show aren’t based on real people. So rather than addressing horrifying things that actually happened, Hunters thought it was better to make their own up in order to try and make the show more entertaining. These fictional crimes like human chess are disgusting and shouldn’t have been included in the show, as it lessens the impact of things that actually occurred. While it is important to highlight what happened I feel using it in this way, primarily for entertainment rather than education, is in very poor taste.
While the show may be fundamentally flawed in its use of inspiration, it's hard to argue at the quality of production. The 1970s vibe of the show comes in full force thanks to the clothing, set pieces, and vehicles which definitely helps with the whole experience of watching the show. On the other hand, the scenes taking place in the past, specifically involving the camps of the Holocaust, are difficult to watch and come across as quite real thanks to details given to Weil from his grandmother. So at least in this regard, there is some historical accuracy that lends to the shows benefit.
The star-studded cast is remarkable with the likes of Al Pacino, fresh off an Academy Award nomination for The Irishman, Logan Lerman and Josh Radnor. The team of hunters is extremely diverse with loads of chemistry between them making for a fun scene whenever they are together and you will be sure to find a favourite amongst them. All performances are solid and while I’m yet to finish the show I already want to learn everything I can about these characters.
Lacing such an event with fiction only for entertainment might lead to the truth eventually getting lost
As complicated as it is to say, Hunters is a great show which shouldn’t exist. In a time where racial injustice and white supremacy are still massive issues, a show that almost glorifies and makes the actions of the Nazis feel like make-belief was a poor choice. The Holocaust was a truly horrific time and caused the death of over 6 million, lacing such an event with fiction only for entertainment might lead to the truth eventually getting lost amongst all the lies with some people even saying it never actually happened. Hunters did try to stick to the facts where possible with some of the events actually happening but unfortunately took it too far.