The rise of national socialism in Germany should not be regarded as a conspiracy of madmen. Millions of "good" people found themselves in a society spiralling into terrible chaos. A film about then, which illuminates the terrors of now.
The film is a biblical soap-opera whose action unfolds in the Californian desert. Karen and Wes's marriage is crumbling apart - like a sandcastle. Karen can't even make love to her husband ... See full summary »
John Halder is a 'good' and decent individual with family problems: a neurotic wife, two demanding children and a mother suffering from senile dementia. A literary professor, Halder explores his personal circumstances in a novel advocating compassionate euthanasia. When the book is unexpectedly enlisted by powerful political figures in support of government propaganda, Halder finds his career rising in an optimistic current of nationalism and prosperity. Seemingly inconsequential decisions lead to choices, which lead to more choices... with eventually devastating effect. Written by
I was quite disappointed by the role played by Viggo Mortensen; he could not make me believe that he was resisting anyhow the fate which was getting hold on him. Of course I have no experience with such problems as being intellectually and morally paralyzed by the political repression of societies like the Third Reich, but at least I expected an actor as Mortensen -who played an thrilling role in A History of Violence- to be able to show something more of a battle a conscience has to fight with the reality of his time like Brandauer demonstrated in Mephisto. But of course it's possible that his role was to be plain obedient and thus weak like many Germans must have been, because discipline was not only moral obligation to the state but also a political one to the nation. Only, even than he didn't convince me.
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