Germany is now saying “Wilkommen” to Tom Cruises’ production of “Valkyrie,” reports Reuters.
Although the production is ruffling feathers of the heirs of the film’s protagonist, Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg, and German politicians, it seems that money speaks louder than words, even words spoken a mere three days ago. Germany’s Defense Ministry is backing off its statement that Cruise is not welcome to film on historical military sites because he is a Scientologist.
In fact, according to Reuters, The Defense Ministry has said that it’s not even responsible for approving film shoots at Bendlerblock–the building in which the “Valkyrie” plan to overthrow Adolph Hitler was forged–a site the producers would most likely be interested in.
The Defense Ministry isn’t “even responsible for approving film shoots at Bendlerblock because they are only tenants on the land,” a Defense Ministry spokesman told the news service, since, “the location is under the authority of Germany’s Finance Ministry” and Defense would “look agreeably” upon any such application.
I understand that bureaucracies are bureaucracies the world over, even at the Bundestag, but this is the type of quick turn of course I usually only expect from the U.S. government. Either the German military is trying to deflect the media attention brought about by its earlier statement on to a higher authority: not God, in this case, but Geld–or accusations of religious persection of Cruise are causing them to rethink the publicity. But, as Michael Kinsley says, a gaffe is when a politician–or a military bureaucracy–tells the truth, and gaffes are usually followed by ‘expanded and corrected’ remarks.