During WWII SS officer Kurt Gerstein tries to inform Pope Pius XII about Jews being sent to extermination camps. Young Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana helps him in the difficult mission to inform the world.
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In World War II, the sanitation engineer and family man Kurt Gerstein is assigned by SS to be the Head of the Institute for Hygiene to purify the water for the German Army in the front. Later, he is invited to participate in termination of plagues in the concentration camps and he develops the lethal gas Zyklon-B. When he witnesses that the SS is killing Jews instead, he decides to denounce the genocide to the Pope to expose to the world and save the Jewish families. The idealist Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana from an influent Italian family gives his best efforts being the liaison of Gerstein and the leaders of the Vatican.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Playwright Rolf Hochhuth was present at the world premiere of Amen. (2002) at the Berlin International Film Festival 2002 and supports the film. See more »
In one of the scenes they say that the Treblinka camp is out of gas, referring to Zyklon B. Treblinka didn't use Zyklon B, instead they used carbon monoxide. See more »
[interrupting a session of the Assembly of the League of Nations, Geneve, 1936]
My name is Stephan Lux. I am Jewish. The Jews are being persecuted in Germany and the world doesn't care.
[He draws a pistol]
I see no other way to reach people's hearts.
[He shoots himself]
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In World War II, the sanitation engineer and family man Kurt Gerstein (Ulrich Tukur) is assigned by SS to be the Head of the Institute for Hygiene to purify the water for the German Army in the front. Later, he is invited to participate in termination of plagues in the concentration camps and he develops the lethal gas Zyklon-B. When he witnesses that the SS is killing Jews instead, he decides to denounce the genocide to the Pope to expose to the world and save the Jewish families. The idealist Jesuit priest Riccardo Fontana (Mathieu Kassovitz) from an influent Italian family gives his best efforts being the liaison of Gerstein and the leaders of the Vatican.
I do not have the knowledge of history to know whether this story is accurate or manipulative, but as a movie it is powerful and striking. Costa-Gavras directs this film about Holocaust based on the history of the German Kurt Gerstein, who unsuccessfully tried to tell the world about the mass murderers in the concentration camps. The performance of Ulrich Tukur is magnificent, giving total credibility to his character. With regard to the role of the Catholic Church, I believe the exposition is simplistic and does not show the big picture of the political environment that the Vatican was living in that historical moment, focusing only in the attempt of the SS officer in having an audience with the Pope. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Amém." ("Amen.")
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