In World War II, after a period living hell on earth in the concentration camp of Dachau with other catholic priests, Father Abbé Henri Kremer gets a nine days leave to return to his home town for his mother's funeral. Along this period, the SS Gestapo lieutenant Gebhardt tries to persuade Henri, who was born in silver-spoon and member of an influent Luxembourgian family, to convince the local bishop to give-up resisting to the Germans and write a letter to the Vatican in the name of the Catholic Church of Luxemburg convincing the Pope to support Hitler and the Nazi regime. The ambivalent Henri questions himself and the bishop what he shall do. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the opening scene where the priests in the concentration camp celebrate Mass secretly, the celebrating priest gives the others Communion saying "Corpus Christi", with the communicant answering "Amen". But this is how Communion is done in the new Roman Rite (Novus Ordo), introduced in 1969/70. In the old Roman Rite (Tridentine Rite), that was used generally at the time the story takes place, the priest makes the sign of the Cross with the host over the paten and then says: "Corpus Domini Nostri Iesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen." ("The Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ may lead your soul to eternal life.") Then he administers Communion. The communicant remains silent. See more »
Haunting, brilliant, agonizing. Enthralling and mesmerizing. Cannot be recommended highly enough.
I do not at all understand how someone can dismiss this film as a "Catholic propaganda movie". That's utter rubbish. I was raised catholic and have converted to paganism but this was still an excellent movie. It does not try to push the catholic faith onto anyone. What it is about is, simply, one man's principles. In an awful time, in the face of torture and abuse, when he is being confronted with the most persuasive arguments and when no one could blame him for taking the easy way out and saving himself, can he stand by what he believes? Will he save himself and then live the rest of his life hating himself for it? This movie was completely engrossing from beginning to end. It absolutely gripped my emotions and my mind and held me riveted. It also left me thinking about it and haunted by it long afterward. I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. Brilliant. I found myself both attracted to and repelled by the character of the Nazi sent to persuade him. Amazing subject matter beautifully executed.
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