The film Swing Kids is a story of how a group of teenagers refuse to join Hitler's Youth organization through the new movement of swing music. It is 1939 in Hamburg, Germany where this movement begins as a rebellious state of mind. These young individuals who were Thomas, Peter and Arvid all refused to end up serving and working under the Nazi regime until the day where Thomas and Peter would end up joining. This turned relationships between friends and the community around as Peter got brain washed by the Nazis and turned against the other swing kids. Swing music was listened and danced to show the teenager's freedom from Hitler's Nazi regime, to show expressive style, and to show freedom from the real world.
Swing music was a way to set free from Hitler's Nazi regime. Since this type of music was banned from Germany, it was a way that many teenagers used it as a rebellious move towards the regime. These young teenagers also used this rebellion to stay of the Hitler's Youth organization, Hitler Jugend. It was an organization where young men would get brainwashed and turn against the community. "We can't let them split is apart," what was these swing kids like Thomas and Peter would say to one another talking about the Hitler Jugend before being forced to join (Thomas Carter).
Swings kids used swing music as a means of expressive style among each other. It was a time where they were able to "shout and feel" the music that could not be heard outside in the real world of Germany(carter). With this expressive style the swing kids created unique dance routines and even a secret language that would only be understood by those who listened to swing. The passions for swing were shown through the freedom and lose movement of the body taking in this type of music. The secret language would refer back to the lyrics of swing music making it so that only the swing kids were the only ones who could understand. Swing kids used the whistle as a means of saying "It don't mean a thing" (Carter). Every word and sounds has a different meaning behind it to know if a person was a swing kid or not, outside and hidden club areas.
Freedom and fleeing from the real world was also found through the swing music. Fleeing from the reak world was a way to run away from thinking if the Nazi were watching or brainwashing a person to turn against others. It was also a way to get away from making choices about trying to survive in this Nazi regime. "I would rather belong to anyone..than belong to the Nazis like you" was a strong belief Arvid who refused to join the youth organization and would rather live free from all the surroundings (Carter). This was a time where the swing kids did not have to listen to any authority and just run away from it all. This was just seen as a means to have fun with friends where a hidden place was located except when a traitor came along and would tell the authorities about the different locations.
This movement of swing music continued and many teenagers continued to rebel. Swing music for these teenagers was freedom and expression from Hitler. There were those who stayed loyal to the community of swing, but others who got trapped in the mind set of the Nazi. Swing music was their Hitler and these teenagers would not give up the style of music because it made them who they were as an individual.
Swing Kids. Dir. Thomas Carter. Perf. Robert Sean Leonard, Christian Bale, Frank Whaley, and Noah Wyle. DVD. Buena Vista Pictures, 1993.