The Final Days is the true story of Germany's most famous anti-Nazi heroine brought to life. Sophie Scholl is the fearless activist of the underground student resistance group, The White Rose. Using historical records of her incarceration, the film re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl's life: a journey from arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence in 1943 Munich. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to her comrades, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless. Written by
This film's closing epilogue states: "The so-called People's Court imposed the death sentence on . . . [seven] . . . members of the White Rose . . . Harsh sentences were imposed on . . . [twelve members] . . . Other members of the White Rose suffered draconian punishments." See more »
In the long interrogation in the middle of the film, the pile of index cards in front of interrogator Mohr keeps moving around on the table. See more »
As this is more of a history film, I will write this review based on the historical aspect of the film and not so much about the acting. However it goes without saying that the acting and handling of the camera was nothing less than superlative! By watching the film you really have the impression of being there at that time.
This film details the last six days of the primary members of a resistance group called the White Rose. The White Rose was an organization of students, mainly around Munich, during the years 1942-1943, though there were fringe elements that eluded capture by the authorities that survived until the end of the war. Many of those survivors contribute to this story.
There are two other films about the group. The main one was a film called "The White Rose". It can be found described here in IMDb. It recounts the complete story of the group. The other was Fünf Letzte Tage (The five last days), which deals with Sophie's last five days. Both of these movies were released in 1982 and the same actress (Lena Stolze) plays Sophie Scholl.
This current film is an amalgamation of the two films with some expansion to the story. More information since the original two films, released in 1982, was subsequently available.
I have studied the story of this group at some length and find the historical aspects of this film track very well with a few notable exceptions. First, at one point when Sophie learns that Christoph Probst was also implicated (she and Hans tried to take all the blame to avoid others from being drawn in) historical accounts say she was shaken to her core and she screams. In the movie however it hardly phases her, she only screams later after the meeting with her parents. I suppose this was done to increase the theatrical value by the placement.
The other is that Police Commissioner Mohr is painted slightly darker than in real life. According to Else Gebel he came back from the prison "white as chalk". She asks if they will die and he only nods shaken from the experience. Else asks how she took it. He replies that she was very brave." He then said, "Keep her in your thoughts in the next half an hour. By that time she will reach the end of her suffering.".
However despite this I thought it was a fantastic film, and probable to date the best one on the subject. There have been a recent wave of films coming from the Bavaria Film Studios, "Der Untergang", "Napola" and this film, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the end of the war. It has been suggested in some circles that this is an attempt to whitewash, I disagree. Until 1994 when I made a visit to Tuebingen and saw some graffiti, I never heard of the White Rose (I am an American). In fact I didn't even know there WAS a German resistance. So I think this about time that this is also given it's place in history along side of the other aspects. In every age there is always a resistance element -- even in our own day. So why should this be such a surprise?
I hope that those who see this film enjoy it as I have. I give it nine stars!
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