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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
According to CIA documents released in 2006, U.S. and West German intelligence knew that Eichmann was hiding in Argentina in 1958. But they revealed nothing, fearing he might expose former comrades who had been useful to the CIA or the German government. See more »
Adolf Eichmann's uniform shows the SS Runes patch. Eichmann's dept RSHA Referat IV B4 was under Reinhard Heydrich and the SD Security Service. The right collar patch on his uniform should be solid black with an SD diamond patch on his bottom left jacket sleeve. Pre-1934 he wore the standard SS officer uniform with the SS Runes. But not after 1934 when he started working for RSHA Referat IV B4 dept and the SD. See more »
There's not enough!
Enough hard evidence that his lawyer can't chip away at in court, or get him extradited to Germany. There's no death penalty in Germany. Which is ironic.
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EICHMANN is not an easy film to view: revisiting the atrocities of the Nazi Third Reich through the greasy, smooth, denying words of Adolf Eichmann is a nightmare, but a nightmare we must revisit periodically to remind us of just how heinous was that period of history. The film is set in 160 - 1962 and is based on transcripts obtained by the Israeli forces from the files of the concentration camps and Nazi regime, transcripts that document the words of Adolf Eichmann that lead to his final confession of his participation in the Third Reich atrocities as unveiled under the slow and insidious interview by Police Captain Avner Less.
The film opens after the 1960 capture of Eichmann from his home in Argentina, the country where he and his wife and four sons had been in hiding since the end of WW II. Adolf Eichmann (brilliantly portrayed by Thomas Kretschmann) had been the World's Most Wanted Man and his transport to Israel was met by jeering crowds. The Israeli Minister Tormer (Stephen Fry) elects police captain Avner Less (Troy Garity) to conduct the interview in what is supposed to be a top-secret assignment. But the news escapes and Avner's wife Vera (Franka Potente), suffering from polio of the spine, and the Avner children are marked as targets by the Israeli's who do not appreciate the duty of Avner Less's obligation to interrogate and gain a complete confession from Eichmann before he can be tried. The months that the interrogations take prove that the Israeli's believed in justice: the facts must be proved completely before the prisoner is tried for atrocities.
During the interrogation months Eichmann is shown in flashbacks to have been not only following the orders of Hitler, but being committed to the purification of the 'Aryan race'. What screenwriter Snoo Wilson and director Robert Young allow is for us to see the human weakness of Eichmann as portrayed By Kretschmann: he had mistresses, including one Austrian Jewess and a Hungarian Countess who urged him to complete the Final Solution, he coldly signed extermination orders 'because he had to follow Hitler's orders', yet he also was an apparently devoted father to his own sons. Equal time is given to allow the audience to see the interaction between the conflicted parties of the interrogation: Avner was convinced he must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prisoner was indeed guilty of all of the crimes fro which he was accused. The interrogations become a battle of wills between the smarmy, oily, manipulative Eichmann and the personally distraught Avner. At the close of the film the real Avner E. Less provides voice over regarding the hanging of Eichmann along with statistics of the Nazi atrocities that no matter how often they are quoted continue to astonish our ability to comprehend.
The only artistic aspect of the film that is ultimately distracting is the director's choice to have cinematographer Michael Conner use near black and white/sepia toning for the film. Certain scenes break into real color but the tone of the film footage seems dirty - and perhaps that is the reason for the choice. Richard Harvey adds the musical score, and there are some very fine cameo roles by Delaine Yates, Tereza Srbova, and Judit Viktor. But in the end it is the performance by Thomas Kretschmann that is terrifyingly real: he deserves awards for his courage to accept this role and for his unforgettable impersonation of a man so evil that under other actor's skills would be simply unbelievable. It is Kretschmann's extraordinary performance that brings home the terror of his film.
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