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
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 »
[referring to his auditory hallucinations]
How long has this been going on?
Don't know, a few months?
Three months? Six months?
I don't know.
Could it be the end of January, say?
Thereabouts, I suppose. Why? Do you think there's some connection to...
What? We put the country in the hands of a lunatic. Taking refuge in a fantasy might be a rational response to an irrational world.
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I watched this film expecting little. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find the film educational and interesting throughout. It paints a picture of the 'Jewish Question' and events leading up to it, focusing on a few characters to give it a personal feel.
Granted, some of the acting was a little ropey, but I would urge people not to let that put them off. I have a particular interest in the second World War, and perhaps that makes me biased, but suspect that even those with no interest in that period of time would still be able to let the film absorb them into the plot.
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