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The Reader (2008) - Plot Summary Poster

(2008)

Plot Summary

  • THE READER opens in post-war Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from "The Odyssey," "Huck Finn" and "The Lady with the Little Dog." Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life - this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hanna's past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. THE READER is a story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another.

    - Written by The Weinstein Company
  • Middle aged German barrister Michael Berg recollects to himself his lifelong acquaintance with Hanna Schmitz, a relationship with whom he never disclosed to anyone close to him. Michael first met Hanna in 1958, when he was fifteen, she thirty-six. The two had a turbulent summer long love affair, dictated by Hanna that their encounters would begin with him reading to her followed by lovemaking. Michael next encountered Hanna in 1966, when Michael, now a law student, attended the Nazi war crimes trial of six female former S.S. concentration camp guards, one of whom is Hanna. Through listening to the testimony, Michael comes to the realization that he is in possession of information which could save Hanna from a life in prison, information which she herself is unwilling to disclose. In deciding what to do, Michael is torn between his differing views of justice.

    - Written by Huggo

Synopsis

The movie begins in 1995 Berlin, where a well-dressed man named Michael Berg is preparing breakfast for a woman whom has stayed the night with him...

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