Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sophie Scholl - The Final Days|
Actors: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Gerald Alexander Held, Johanna Gastdorf, André Hennicke
Director: Marc Rothemund
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
2005 Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, Sophie Scholl - The Final Days is the true story of Germany's most famous anti-Nazi heroine brought to thrilling, dramatic life. Sophie Scholl stars Julia Jents... more »
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A real hero
H. Schneider | window seat | 10/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on newly available documents, this "real story" retells some aspects of the White Rose resistance movement. The center piece of the movie is the interrogation of Sophie by a devoted Nazi, who nevertheless tries to save her and tries to build bridges for her, which she can not agree to cross. This is very intense and thrilling, Julia Jentsch is great and convincing as Sophie, but so is the interrogator.
The climax is the court procedure with Freisler in the chair. The court atmosphere may be nearly unbelievable to those who are not familiar with the history of Nazi "jurisprudence". It shows very well what anybody could have found himself up against for "crimes" like distributing leaflets.
Some reviews are putting this small masterpiece on par with The Downfall which came out about the same time. I do not manage to agree. For me, the Downfall movie lacks the clarity of meaning that Sophie has. I found it rather disturbingly ambiguous, to the extent that I saw it as propaganda for the wrong side. There is no such doubt with Sophie."
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 07/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
Sophie Scholl (a committed, intelligent, idealistic Julia Jentsch) is a young German woman dedicated to bringing down the Third Reich.
It's 1943, the Germans are losing untold numbers of their men in Stalingrad, the news has leaked into Germany about the Final Solution and the young and college educated are risking their lives and that of their families by distributing leaflets all over Europe discrediting the War and Hitler...which is considered a death penalty offense.
Sophie and her brother Hans (Fabian Hinrichs) are caught and arrested and the bulk of the film deals with Sophie's interrogation by a government functionary, Robert Mohr (a sleazy, squirrelly Alexander Held).
For several days and until her brother Hans confesses, Sophie holds her own and even betters Mohr. Julia Jentsch is extremely effective in portraying Scholl's idealism and burning intelligence. Her Sophie is a leader, a firebrand: someone who accepts the consequences of her actions without remorse and without pointing fingers towards anyone but herself.
Too much of what Mohr spouts is pedantic, Nazi drivel whereas Sophie's responses are likewise pedantic, pie-in-the-sky and emotional. What makes their exchanges interesting is that they are based on official Gestapo records available only since German reunification. Despite all of this or maybe because of it, these interrogation scenes crackle with fire and truth: both Sophie and Mohr fully committed to their cause.
"Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage" along with the recent "Downfall" are more important as social statements rather than artistic ones. They are both shining examples of a country facing its past squarely in the face and recognizing and releasing its collective ghosts and demons: the first step towards redemption.
Beliefs and Bravery
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SOPHIE SCHOOL - THE FINAL DAYS is one of those films made more powerful by the understated production values. The script, yes, the story itself, is so powerful that it doesn't need big battle scenes or full-fledged staged crowd scenes to make it work: the dialogue among the actors speaks volumes.
Written by Fred Breinersdorfer based on documents from life and directed with enormous sensitivity by Marc Rothemund the film takes place in the last days of the lives of members of the anti-Nazi resistance movement The White Rose in 1943. Sophie Scholl (Julia Jentsch), her brother Hans (Fabian Hinrichs) and their friend Christoph (Florian Stetter) are organizers for creating leaflets warning the populace of Germany of the ills ahead should Hitler and his Hessians remain in power. They are caught, imprisoned and interrogated. Sophie's interrogator Robert Mohr (Gerald Alexander Held), though strong, does seem to understand Sophie's explanations for her denial of participation in the spreading of leaflets, but Sophie has the courage to speak out against the current government. Hans is likewise interrogated and when he confesses to the leaflet incident he is implicating both Sophie and Christoph and the three are brought before a vicious tribunal. Christoph pleads for his life and Sophie and Hans request that his life as a father be spared but the charges are made of iron and the three are convicted and immediately executed.
The fact that the story is true makes it all the more moving. Observing the inordinate amount of courage in standing firm for beliefs - especially in Sophie's case - is humbling for the viewer. How many of us, under similar circumstances would have that degree of conviction of ideals and bravery?
The acting by everyone involved is first rate, with Julia Jentsch and Gerald Alexander Held being especially fine. The pacing, scoring, lighting and direction of this film are keyed to the atmosphere of the times in 1943 Germany, creating a sense of claustrophobia in the visual and the emotional aspects of the film. It is a brilliant work and deserves a very wide audience. In German with English subtitles. Grady Harp, December 06
Focuses on the positive of Sophie's lasts days
dicerotops | Northern VA, USA | 09/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike other movies during the Nazi reign, this movie does not focus on the bad of the Nazis but rather the good of Sophie Scholl. She is portrayed as a real person, and not some hyped up heroine. In the movie, as in life, she has faults and strengths. Her simplistic brilliance shines during the interrogation scenes.
It is important to remember that Sophie was a real person. Her and her brother were a bit wreckless when they went back into the Munich college at Sophie's urging. They made a mistake and they used their wits to try to protect one another.
I have done a considerable amount of studies on the White Rose. This movie stuck to the facts. Even the outlandish judge at the end was portrayed according to records.
If you want a historically accurate film from beginning to end, this is a wonderful pick."