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.
Algeria, 1954. Two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee across the Atlas mountains. Daru, the reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder.
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
The music played at the end by the Jewish prisoners is Gustav Mahler's first symphony, third movement. This movement uses as one of its themes a parody of the popular children song "Frère Jacques", and the whole symphony borrows heavily from one of Mahler's song cycles, Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen. The last song, "Die zwei blauen Augen" (The two blue eyes) can be heard sometimes during the movie, as in the end of the movie shoot and as part of the symphony's movement being played. See more »
In the scene, when Halder takes a walk with his ex-wife in the cemetery, which is supposed to be in Berlin, Germany, Hungarian names are clearly visible on the gravestones. See more »
I thought it was a very good film. Quite a different portrayal on the topic of Nazi Germany from what we are used to. Shows how at the end of the day, the Germans were not people with horns, everything that was going on was very normal to them, everybody was doing their part in a country that was, after a long period in the dark,was finally thriving. They could not see the full picture. This film makes you wonder what you would have done had you been a German in that period. At first the main character in the film does not even support the Reich, him being a Literature professor, especially after having seen them burn all them books. But by the end of it, he winds up in full Nazi attire. But its way too late then.
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