The famous Nazi-Doctor Dr. Josef Mengele - the "death angel of Auschwitz", who killed more than 300.000 people - comes back from his hide out in Argentina to Germany as a 87 year old man. ... See full summary »
The famous Nazi-Doctor Dr. Josef Mengele - the "death angel of Auschwitz", who killed more than 300.000 people - comes back from his hide out in Argentina to Germany as a 87 year old man. He must stand up in front of a court for his crimes. The young solicitor Peter Rohm has to defend him. But Peter Rohm - himself an expert on Josef Mengele and his crimes - feels unable to do this. When he decides to take on the case he endangers not only the relationship to his wife but also their lifes. A fictional story around the non-fictional person of Josef Mengele who died in 1979. Written by
The story of Nazi collaborators being brought to justice would not seem interesting anymore in these days, even with the emergence of extreme Nationalistic tendencies in several places out of Germany, but Roland Suso Richter made an intelligent and moving drama, based on a fantasy. Suppose that "The Angel of Death of Auschwitz", Dr. Josef Mengele (who never faced German justice and died in Brazil) had come back to Berlin, selected a bright young lawyer (Peter Rohm) for his defense, and asked to be judged to set the facts straight, or to put it in his words, "to let the Truth be known". The lawyer's only strategy is to interpret Mengele's actions under the medical ethics of his time, and in a way he succeeds to prove that Mengele was just acting according to the common notion in Nazi Germany, that doctors could and should dispense of lives that weren't worth-living. But there's more to it. Although the script (by Johannes W. Betz and Christopher and Kathleen Riley) makes a fine tapestry of past and present (and includes a disturbing final speech by Mengele) and the camera-work by Martin Lager is first rate, director Richter does not incurs in flashy style. His mise-en-scene is elegant and confident, immensely helped by the excellent performances by Götz George as Mengele and Kai Wiesinger as Rohm.
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