10 Most Devastating Movie Openings That Totally Broke You
8. Inglourious Basterds
In the wild celebration of the opening sequence of Tarantino's Nazisploitation delight, most praise tends to go to the performance of Christoph Waltz or the intricacies of the director's writing. This is supposedly the scene establishing the instant, irresistible charm of The Jew Hunter, as if he is someone to be celebrated in any way. Unfortunately, because of the fetishism of villainy, that agenda seems to have been completely achieved.
But look again at the sequence and there's a lot more to its heft than Waltz's easy charisma or the dexterity and dark magic of his words, there's also a second story at play. Beneath the floorboards of the conversation lies a family, believing themselves to be in sanctuary but still terrified all the same. They are slowly but surely being betrayed without realising, as their fate plays out in a language they cannot understand.
And even as we're perversely called to see The Jew Hunter's coercion of the father as a "victory," it plays against the sight of Shosanna's entire family being wiped out. It didn't just break you because that's bloody sad, but because of the way Tarantino frames it: it's grotesque and dark and challenging all at once.