Clouds, high above. A voice talks of freedom to a frenzied crowd. “Once upon a time in Germany” appears written in the sky. This shows the lofty viewpoint from which Gianna Scholten is able to examine the dark side of a certain ‘German mindset’ in this ferociously gritty fairy tale. The context is the resurgence of unapologetic antisemitism during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to reconstruct this zeitgeist in its cultural tradition, the virtuoso editing of Zwei Riesen weaves together three strands. The image brilliantly reworks the folk imagery of a bucolic, pagan and conservative Germany: vast landscapes of enchanted nature inhabited by supernatural beings; Hansel and Gretel picking mushrooms, spied on by the anthropophagous witch; garden gnomes, music boxes and snow globes. The soundtrack imitates a radio broadcasting the voices of contemporary members of Germany’s far right: low-level conspiracy theorists, shameless defenders of family values inherited from Nazism, and rabid antisemitism. The image is imprinted with a satirical narrative, as if Brecht had rewritten a Grimm Brothers fairytale. The spirit of the great Bertolt, his powerfully ironic directing style, runs right through Gianna Scholten’s satire. With the AfD, Germany’s far-right party, having just won its first local election in Thuringia, her film is both a cruel mirror held up to her contemporaries and a miniature treatise on cultural and political history. Nothing could be more salutary.