A precise, real-time (exactly 85 minutes - the length of the actual event) reenactment of the infamous Wannsee Conference, a meeting called in January, 1942 to map out the implementation of... See full summary »
A precise, real-time (exactly 85 minutes - the length of the actual event) reenactment of the infamous Wannsee Conference, a meeting called in January, 1942 to map out the implementation of the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
Most of the conversations at the beginning of the film, in particular the small talk between offices, the dialogue between the SS and the secretaries, and the emergency phone call regarding a transport of Jews in the east, is entirely dramatic license. The actual minutes for the conference begin after Heydrich convened the meeting - exactly what the Nazi officers were doing before Heydrich arrived is not historically known and is dependent on second hand testimony and speculation. See more »
It was inspired programme planning on the part of BBC's Knowledge channel to preface Heinz Schirk's dramatised documentary with Alain Resnais's chilling piece of actuality footage "Nuit et Brouillard" made twenty years earlier. It is just possible that, without it, the more recent film might have lost something of its awesome impact. However, by preceding it with the most harrowing account of the consequences of that fateful meeting, there was no escaping the obscenity of what we were watching. The scene was one of glamour with smartly dressed high ranking Nazi officials being served refreshments by spotlessly groomed white uniformed young male waiters. With minutes detailing the planned murder of millions being taken by an attractive female stenographer with the calm impassivity of one recording an average business meeting, the underlying horror and grotesque irony of the occasion was complete. A masterly historical reconstruction.
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