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Anneke von der Lippe,
Based upon the final confession of Adolf Eichmann, made before his execution in Israel as he accounts to Captain Avner Less, a young Israeli Police Officer, of his past as the architect of Hitler's plan for the final solution. Captured by intelligence operatives in Argentina, 15 years after World War II, Eichmann (Kretschmann), the World's most wanted man, must be broken down and the truth unveiled. As the world waits, two men must confront each other in a battle of wills- the result of which will change a nation forever. Written by
Historical inaccuracies abound, for instance Eichmann is depicted as leaving for Hungary in 1942 - two years before he actually did so.
Similarly in the scene where he is having sex with the Hungarian Baroness he enumerates the numbers of Jews he has killed - even though we have just been told that this is 1943 and in fact most of the deportations and exterminations he lists have not yet taken place.
And in his later recollection of this scene in prison he states that it took place while the Reich was collapsing - although in 1943 it still ruled most of Europe. See more »
This version of EICHMANN (as a biography, biographical, or as any of the several excellent documentaries about his trails) apparently has a dream cast and technical crew to make the "definite" EICHMANN "fictionalized" film. Was Thomas Kretschmann born to play the perfect Nazi of our nightmares and dreams, or what?
Well, here his "Naziness",in total contrast to his brief but impactive appearance in Polanski's THE PIANIST, and in DER UNTERGANG (as Hitler's brother-in-law)is a waste. It's a waste because the script of the film is horrible. His stereotype Nazi features would have been better spent in the USA 1960's sitcom HOGAN'S HEROES.
I live in Brazil and have spent a good part of my life here, in Argentina and in Germany, though I'm American and grew up in the 60s when WWII was still as fresh as the collapse of the USSR is now. So, any well-rounded movie fan from this area (or news junkie) would have as a compulsory experience, followed on radio and TV (no cable back then) the before & post-war antics of these Eichamnns, Klaus Barbies and their cohorts.
Now, I sat through a 5 or 6 hour film in Berlin in 1998 or 1999 (or was it two 4 hour sittings)of the COMPLETE Eichmann trial in Israel. The documentary was a "big release" as Documentaries go. It was playing in several art cinemas in Berlin, one near the Memorial Church, another in Kreuzberg,and in the Oranienburgerstrasse "art film multiplex" where I saw it.
If anyone knows which film I'm talking about, please submit as anew title or e-mail me. It is not any of the options this site gives: (Displaying 8 Results) 1.The Man Who Captured Eichmann (1996) (TV) 2."Adolf Eichmann 2003) (TV) aka I Met Adolf Eichmann" - UK 3."L'Hidato Shel Adolf Eichmann" (1994) 4.Operation Eichmann (1961) 5. Eichmann Trial (1961) (TV) 6. "Eichmann and the Third Reich" (1961) 7. The Trial of Adolf Eichmann(1997) (TV) 8. Witnesses to the Holocaust-the Trial of Adolf Eichmann(1987)(TV).
I thought it was Number 7 (the 1997 TV version), but it's too short and has a moderator, which the long film I saw lacked). Anyway, with that film as DEFINITE, REAL and irrefutable genuine human emotion, tragedies, and wrecked lives revealed, WHY make a feature film?
Well, as the list of seven above show, there was no shortage of "Eichmann films" when this film was shot, and released. And it has been released. In the Rio Festival, EICHMANN had 4 screenings in the main large cinemas, and was held over for a third week of "Last Chance For the Best of Rio" which ended last week. And the copy had burned subtitles in French, with electronic Portuguese subtitles below the screen. So, it has been somewhat shown around the world.
As this looks like a probable straight to DVD release. I had never even read about the filming of this feature, which also (mis) casted the German (but dark and with a star power name) Franka Potente as the Israeli's prosecutor's wife in one of the boring and pointless subplots. Potente, like everyone else including Eichmann, only spoke English, though she and her Prosecutor husband had met in France, and supposedly spoke French with each other.
But not a word of German, Yiddish, French or Hebrew is heard.
FINE. English is the international language. But this being a criminal court case movie, with loads of depositions, at least one of the victims could have spoken in the 4 major languages related to the case. Just for effect, like Arien Brody's attempts at German in the PIANIST, for some authenticity, with English, though not one of the four languages related to the case, as the main language, but not as-the language spoken 100% of the time!
Anyway, there is a "real film" with authentic testimony from the actual victims in their mother tongues, plus a couple of hours in Austrian-accented German deposition Eichmann gave. That documentary was basically in Hebrew, but both sides staunchly used their national identity languages. Eichmann spoke only German, and the Israeli prosecutor, judges, and victims did too - but chose to ask in Hebrew (so the crowd could understand apparently). Thus the translations to French, English, Russian & Yiddish, which I'm counting here as German added to an already long documentary, in black & white, with no visual power film of it all, two sets of subtitles running all the time. It was difficult to watch, but authentic, and a real treasure, something this EICHMANN is not.
Again, the hours of the real trial is what you should look for. The Israeli Prosecutor was not a gorgeous and elegant leading man, nor was Eichmann nearly as attractive and "Nazi-like" (as defined by the Hollywood stereotype).
This film gives NO new insight on Eichmann. The screenplay is shamefully bad, and the scenery is SO not-Israel. It screams MALTA (where it was shot),though NO southern Mediterranean island would have given us something that looks like Tel Aviv. These islands are ancient, and Tel Aviv started to become a city in the late 1920s and 30s (not in the 15th century).
My suggestion: if you are die-hard Thomas Kretschmann and Franka Potente fans, go. But just to see them. You won't find any substance or anything new in this movie - such a terrible waste of time, money, story, and great (and beautiful) German actors!
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