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.
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
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 »
Interesting film developed on Nazi time with fine performances and good setting
Germany 1933, at the raising Nazi Regime, John Haider (Viggo Mortensen) is a good man, a brilliant professor of literature who has to care his ill mother (Gemma Jones), wife and sons. The professor suffers interruption of some radicals students who burn books in his University's courtyard . He writes a book that defends the euthanasia as method to sure a dignity death to ills. His novel is a upright success in the III Reich hierarchy (Mark Strong, Steven Mckintosh), including Hitler who takes his novel as justifying oneself the dreadful crimes against Jews. The Nazi authorities press and threaten Haider to collaborate with Gestapo and write about legalize euthanasia. Haider is going into the spiral of Nazi savagery. Meanwhile he falls in love with a student (Jodie Whitaker)and his Jewish friend (Jason Isaacs)being besieged by the Nazi pursuers.
This is a splendid drama set on Nazi epoch with thoughtful plot and slick direction .From the sage play by C.P. Taylor, as the producers wish to thanks Royal Shakespeare Company and the original cast and crew of the play. It packs a colorful and appropriate cinematography by Andrew Dunn. Enjoyable musical score by Simon Lacey and including Mahler songs . The flick is well produced by Miriam Segal , as the film is made in memory of his father Ronald Segal whose life's work was dedicated to the betterment of the rights of the others. The motion picture is professionally directed by Austria-Brazilian director Vicente Amorim.
The movie talks about various historic events as happens ¨The night of the broken glass¨ well re-enacted in the film, as the night of November 9, 1938, when terror attacks were made on Jewish synagogues and stores. Two days earlier, Vom Rath, Third Secretary of the German Embassy in Paris , had been assassinated by Grynszpan, a Polish Jew. In retaliation, Himmler (though doesn't appear at the movie is continuously appointed) and Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the SD, ordered the destruction of all Jewish places of worship in Germany and Austria.The assault had been long prepared , the murder provided an opportunity to begin the attack. In fifteen hours 101 synagogues were destroyed by fire and 76 were demolished. Bands of Nazis (one of them is our starring Viggo Mortensen, though unaware) destroyed 7.500 Jewish-owned stores. The pillage and looting went on through the night. Streets were covered with broken glass , hence the name Kristallnacht. Three days later Hermann Goering along with Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbles ( played by Adrian Schiller) called a meeting of the top hierarchy at the Air Ministry to assess the damage done during the night and place responsibility for it. Goebbles proposed that Jews no longer be allowed to use the public parks. It was decided that the Jews would have to pay for the damage they had provoked.
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