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
Ernst Eduard vom Rath was a German diplomat stationed in Paris who was shot and killed by the young Polish Jew Herschel Grynszpan. The death of vom Rath served as the casus belli for Hitler's Kristallnacht orders. Although the Nazis eventually got custody of Grynszpan when France fell, they never staged a trial and the motives for vom Rath's murder remain unclear. Historians have speculated that vom Rath and the younger Grynszpan (17 at the time of the murder) were involved romantically, and this somehow precipitated the murder. 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 »
We probably met him, you know? When we were at Ypres, October of that year, 16th Bavarian were in the line next to us. He'd have been running dispatches back and forth.
You may have sent him on an errand.
"Oi, you! Lance Corporal! Yes, you, short arse. Get over here!"
And he'd have saluted you., imagine that.
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A German professor (Mortensen) rises through the Nazi nomenclatura ranks before the onset of WW2, all the while seeing life becoming ever harder for his Jewish best friend and their relationship fraying as a result.
I was thoroughly disappointed with this movie, from the start it is difficult to understand what exactly is trying to be conveyed here. The creeping horror of the Jewish segregation mainly feels like a veneer but never feels heartfelt. The fact that Viggo M awkwardly acts the character of a coward throughout the film does not help. It is all too slow and too shallow, all the way to the end. Lead female's acting is wooden, the Jewish friend is barely fleshed out at all and his tempers feel phoney at best. Conversations are often trite and interaction between actors worse.
2 stars then, mainly for the beauty and realism of the renditions and the urban Berlin of the 30s, which prevent this from being un atter flop.
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