A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular ... See full summary »
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Fernando Fernán Gómez,
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Klaus Maria Brandauer,
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A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular and renowned conductors of the 30s, Furtwangler's reputation rivaled that of Toscanini's. After the war, he was investigated as part of the Allies' de-Nazification programme. In the bombed-out Berlin of the immediate post-war period, the Allies slowly bring law and order--and justice--to bear on an occupied Germany. An American major is given the Furtwangler file, and is told to find everything he can and to prosecute the man ruthlessly. Tough and hard-nosed, Major Steve Arnold sets out to investigate a world of which he knows nothing. Orchestra members vouch for Furtwangler's morality--he did what he could to protect Jewish players from his orchestra. To the Germans, deeply respectful of their musical heritage, Furtwangler was a demigod; to Major Arnold, he is just a lying, weak-willed Nazi. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
When Emmi is buying records from the vendor she asks in German the price of the records. The vendor replies five hundred. He should have said "fünf", five in German. Since she is German there is no reason for the English number. See more »
Harvey Keitel plays Major Steve Arnold, a small man in insurance, from New York. Stellan Skarsgård plays Furtwängler, a genius who was loved and courted by the Nazis.
The Major pursues Furtwangler like a rabid dog, determined to show that that Furtwangler was guilty of something.Why didn't Furtwangler leave when he had the chance? Did he seek out accolades from the devil?
Why is Major Arnold so Angry? It it the anger of a small man who feels spat upon by life, suddenly given the chance of bring down someone once so High and Mighty?
FurtWangler is aloof, distant, full of easy platitudes about the redemptive quality of Art. Major Arnold is mean and streetwise, quick to attack and condemn those who he does not understand.
Who is in the wrong? In the end does it mean anything to believe you are right? In whose eyes anyway? This film asks some difficult questions about how we perceive ourselves and others, how we question our most basic motives. Very Good.
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