Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) is a film that uses the historical context of 1931 Germany to convey themes through utilising the various dramatic and technical elements of film. The well-known historical context of Nazi Germany provides the audience with an immediately confronting schema about the events that they know followed this tumultuous time that Fosse portrays. This is immediately juxtaposed with Sally Bowles and her attitude of self-fulfillment and success. The audience is then invited to reflect on their own existence, their hopes and dreams, and their position in society, using the context of WWII is the most collectively recognised and tragic examples of an ignorant society, this causes the audience to question their potential ignorance towards societal issues. Fosse utilises techniques such as lighting, music, and cinematography to highlight themes in the text, such as social ignorance, responsibility, facade, and for the particular historical context the Nazi infiltration into German culture. Additionally, the use of characterisation and stylised costumes make the characters relatable and even comparable to various social movements that have occurred throughout modern history.
The Nazi Infiltration is the historical context that the story is built around; this makes it an important device for Fosse to reflect characters own struggles and acts as an indicator for how close the film is to the climatic moments for each character. Increasingly prevalent images of Nazi propaganda are presented to the audience as the film builds towards its climax, paralleling the issues in the society with the characters own struggles. Fosse utilises the background to filter Nazi propaganda in scenes where characters are in the street. After the Beer garden scene, this background propaganda is far more frequent, and more hostile. The most aggressive form of Nazi influenced hatred occurs when Natalia's dog is killed and found along with the word Juden (Jew).