During WWII, a head priest, Henri Kremer, is mysteriously freed from Dachau concentration camp. He learns that he can return home, to Luxembourg, for a period of nine days, during which he will have to face a persuasive Gestapo chief who will put his faith to the test.Written by
"The Ninth Day" is one of Volker Schlondorff's finest directorial feats. It covers an episode of the Nazi concentration Camp of Dachau in which there was a lesser known group of Catholic priests who were incarcerated and half of them exterminated by the oppressive regime that had enveloped Germany in the 30's and 40's during WW II. It particularly revolves around a priest from Luxemburg, Father Henri Kremer, who is released for a nine day period from the camp in order to develop positive relationships between the Bishop of Luxemburg and the Pope and Adolph Hitler's Nazi goals of extermination of specific groups of peoples. Ulrich Matthes plays Henri Kremer and he is very convincing in his strength of faith and love of family in his struggle to accomplish what he has been requested by the Gestapo to do. August Diehl is brilliant in his portrayal of Unterstumfuhrer Gebhardt, the demanding and ruthless Gestapo leader who degrades and tortures his victims to the nth degree. The cruel treatment and crucifixions of the priests is difficult to watch, yet this is a true recollection of events documented by the writer of the book by the same name. He was one of the few Catholic priest survivors of the camp. This film was released in 2004, and it is now on DVD and well worth the viewing for an historical standpoint with a different twist.
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