MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 419 this week

Amen. (2002)

 -  Crime | Drama | War  -  27 February 2002 (France)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 9,211 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 53 user | 68 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

During WWII SS officer Kurt Gerstein tries to inform Pope Pius XII about Jews being sent to concentration camps. Young Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana gives him a hand.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 28 Jan 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 30 Jan 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Mar 2013
 
a list of 49 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 49 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Amen." on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Amen. (2002)

Amen. (2002) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Amen..
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Ax (2005)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chemist (Garcia) loses his job to outsourcing. Two years later and still jobless, he hits on a solution: to genuinely eliminate his competition.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: José Garcia, Karin Viard, Geordy Monfils
Missing (1982)
Drama | History | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When an idealistic writer disappears during the Right Wing military coup in 1973 Chile, his wife and American businessman father try to find him.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron
Eden Is West (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A drama centered around the illegal immigrants living in the EU.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Riccardo Scamarcio, Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos, Léa Wiazemsky
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An unknown Polish writer can't publish his novels, so his ex-wife decides to help him and get some of the profit for herself. She finally finds a publisher, but there's a strange single condition that could cost the writer his life.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: André Dussollier, Pierre Arditi, Jirí Menzel
Certificate: GP Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Anton Ludvik, aka Gerard, is vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia. He realizes he is watched and followed. One day, he is arrested and put into jail, in solitary confinement. ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Gabriele Ferzetti
Z (1969)
Certificate: M Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Following the murder of a prominent leftist, an investigator tries to uncover the truth while government officials attempt to cover up their roles.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Yves Montand, Irene Papas, Jean-Louis Trintignant
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Yves Montand, Renato Salvatori, O.E. Hasse
Capital (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The newly appointed CEO of a giant European investment bank works to hold on to his power when an American hedge fund company tries to buy out his company.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Gad Elmaleh, Gabriel Byrne, Liya Kebede
Hanna K. (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An Israeli lawyer is defending a Palestinian charged by The Military Court System in the Israeli-Occupied Territories. It's a tough case because of a strong political background.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Jill Clayburgh, Jean Yanne, Gabriel Byrne
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

French rocker Johnny Hallyday stars as a professional thief just released from jail. He returns to stealing to support his family. After several successful thefts, he decides to include his under-aged kid into the "family business".

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Johnny Hallyday, Fanny Ardant, Guy Marchand
Shock Troops (1967)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A French resistance group liberates some German prisoners. Turns out one of them is a spy.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Charles Vanel, Bruno Cremer, Jean-Claude Brialy
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In occupied France during the WWII, a German officer is murdered. The collaborationist Vichy government decides to pin the murder on six petty criminals. Loyal judges are called in to convict them as quickly as possible.

Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Louis Seigner, Roland Bertin, Michael Lonsdale
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Riccardo Fontana
...
Doctor
Michel Duchaussoy ...
Cardinal
Ion Caramitru ...
Count Fontana
...
...
Gerstein's Father
Antje Schmidt ...
Mrs. Gerstein
Hanns Zischler ...
...
Höss
Erich Hallhuber ...
Von Rutta
Burkhard Heyl ...
Director
...
Tittman
Bernd Fischerauer ...
Bishop von Galen
Pierre Franckh ...
Pastor Wehr
Edit

Storyline

In World War II, the sanitation engineer and family man Kurt Gerstein is assigned by SS to be the Head of the Institute for Hygiene to purify the water for the German Army in the front. Later, he is invited to participate in termination of plagues in the concentration camps and he develops the lethal gas Zyklon-B. When he witnesses that the SS is killing Jews instead, he decides to denounce the genocide to the Pope to expose to the world and save the Jewish families. The idealist Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana from an influent Italian family gives his best efforts being the liaison of Gerstein and the leaders of the Vatican. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ss | priest | pope | jesuit | jew | See All (208) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

27 February 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Eyewitness  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 103,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,284 (USA) (24 January 2003)

Gross:

$274,299 (USA) (8 August 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Vatican did not give permission to shoot the film in its buildings. After searching for a location of adequate size for the scenes taking place in the Vatican, Costa-Gavras finally chose Europe's largest building, the House of the People (Casa Poporului) in Bucharest, Romania. Some of the outdoor scenes were shot in Mogosoaia Palace, approximately 14 kilometers northwest of Bucharest. See more »

Goofs

In addition to the black SS parade uniforms worn by characters in the film long after their discontinuation in 1939, earlier scenes show these uniforms adorned with the swastika armband of the Hitler Jugend, The Hitler Youth, not the black rimmed armband of the Allgemeine SS and other branches of The SS wearing the black tunics of the 1930s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stephan Lux: [interrupting a session of the Assembly of the League of Nations, Geneve, 1936] My name is Stephan Lux. I am Jewish. The Jews are being persecuted in Germany and the world doesn't care.
[He draws a pistol]
Stephan Lux: I see no other way to reach people's hearts.
[He shoots himself]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Could the Final Solution have been stopped and millions of lives have been saved?
11 February 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The film offers an open-ended answer to this popular question. It begins with a graphic portrayal of the Nazi euthanasia programme which killed 50,000 'mental defectives'. This links us to the main protagonist, Kurt Gerstein, an SS scientific officer who develops the Zyklon B gas which allows mass-murder of Jews and Gypsies to proceed on an industrial scale. Gerstein's niece is a euthanasia victim. Gerstein is a committed evangelical Christian with an anti-Nazi past who normally would not be allowed into the SS. Gerstein's father is an enthusiastic Nazi who pulls strings to get his son into the SS, presumably seen as a safer option than the army and also as the elite corps of the Nazi state. Entirely plausible, as many evangelical Christians became enthusiastic Nazis. Gerstein's expertise in developing water purification and anti-typhus procedures for the German army allows him to prosper within the SS, despite his multiple treason.

The murder of his niece and the Jews appalls his Christian conscience. His wincing reaction whilst looking through the gas chamber spy-hole is well-acted. He alerts the Swedes and the Catholic Church, hoping that international pressure will awaken the German conscience. Catholic opposition has stopped the euthanasia programme and this can be mobilised to help the Jews.

In reality, Gerstein's options are limited. His own church leaders react mutely to his news of mass-murder. They caution restraint. Nazi indoctrination is trying to turn everyone into a rabid anti-Semite - as shown comically with Gerstein's youngest son giving annoying Hitler salutes. Most Protestants agree to join the new Nazi-sponsored 'Reich Church', happily reconciling faith with Nazism. Similarly, the 1933 Concordat with Hitler gave the Catholic Church a precarious protection as long as it stayed out of politics.

Carpet-bombing of German cities is killing women, children and babies. German forces are engaged in a titanic struggle against the 'forces of international Jewry ' - Russian Communism and American Capitalism. Facing this kind of mind-set and mass paranoia, the Jews needed a miracle. Saving mentally-handicapped members of German families is one thing. Saving a long-despised race thought to be the root cause of every world problem is very much another.

Gerstein's attempts to alert the Vatican are channelled through an invented character, a young Catholic priest who symbolises the conscience of thousands of individual Catholics who risked their lives to help Jews. He eventually sacrifices himself at Auschwitz, a Christ-like figure who 'redeems' his religion in the face of a terrible evil.

The controversial Pope Pius XII is portrayed in a curiously anodyne way

  • to the distaste of those who regard him as a Nazi sympathiser. The


Vatican's fear of Communism, its efforts to hide Italian Jews and its self-preservation instinct in facing the Nazis are all clearly demonstrated. As is the help it gave to individual SS men on the run after the war. One is left to make up one's own mind about the Pope.

In truth, neither the Church nor the SS were monolithic organisations. Both were composed of individuals, good and bad. One reason for death factories was to save SS men from the horrors of mass-shootings. They offered a 'sanitised' method of killing, just as the 1933 Concordat offered a sanitised way for Nazism and Catholicism to relate to each other. Problems arose for individuals who had to make moral choices in carrying out these policies.

The controversial Roman lunch scene depicts the American ambassador discussing the fate of the Jews with Vatican big-wigs. Against a wonderful panoramic backdrop of the eternal city, they enjoy an excellent sea food meal. The American points out that finding an alternative home for millions of Jews would cause great problems. Nazi retaliation would only make things worse, counters a Vatican big-wig. A far cry from the cattle trucks rolling to and fro, emptying Europe of its Jews. This is a 'cheap shot' - decision-makers usually enjoy better material conditions than the rest of us. One can imagine Churchill discussing sensitive topics in a cold-blooded way over many a fine meal. It makes for good cinema, though!

This is an excellent film which covers a vast topic in 2 hours. It does not make judgements about Gerstein or the Christian churches. The Gerstein character is a complex one as is the Christian response to the Holocaust. It shows how difficult it is to 'buck the system' during wartime. Gerstein arrives at Auschwitz with the comforting knowledge that the allies 'never bomb the camps' - they know they are full of 'POW's'. Would prolonged bombing of the railways to the death camps have made a difference? Many Jews believe that this could and should have happened.

Should the allies have re-directed their military efforts to save Jews rather than merely fight the Nazis? Unfortunately, the 1930's and World War 2 had de-sensitised people to civilian suffering - newsreels from China, Abyssinia, Guernica; the Nazi bombing of Warsaw, Rotterdam, London, Coventry, the V1 and V2 attacks of 1944. World War I blurred the line between soldiers and civilians. World War 2 completely obliterated this distinction - on both sides of the conflict. Axis forces brought death to millions of Chinese and Russian civilians. The Allied bombing of Germany, Japan and northern France all produced heavy civilian casualties. Is there an essential difference between mass-bombing and the Holocaust?

European anti-Semitism aided the Holocaust. The miracle is that so many individual Gentiles did so much to aid Jews. Nazism put new ideas about human rights to the test. Governments and organisations may have been found wanting – especially Vichy France. Individuals - including many brave Germans – responded magnificently. This is the 'positive' side of the Holocaust which we should remember and treasure. Gerstein did his best to sabotage and stop the killing machine he became part of. The film allows us to make up our own minds about whether he and the Catholic Church did enough.


27 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Much superior to 'Schindler's List', 'The Pianist'. panchaud
some one pls explain the ending to me i got confussed on what happened rileymckenna
Best scene? french-ingenue17
Should be in every Christian's movie library Shannon-32
Who was the man who kills himself at the start? Labyrint
'The Lives of Others'? davidinberlin
Discuss Amen. (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?