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Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)

Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (original title)
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A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.

Director:

Marc Rothemund
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Jentsch ... Sophie Scholl
Alexander Held Alexander Held ... Robert Mohr
Fabian Hinrichs Fabian Hinrichs ... Hans Scholl
Johanna Gastdorf ... Else Gebel
André Hennicke ... Roland Freisler
Florian Stetter ... Christoph Probst
Maximilian Brückner ... Willi Graf
Johannes Suhm ... Alexander Schmorell
Lilli Jung Lilli Jung ... Gisela Schertling
Klaus Händl Klaus Händl ... Lohner
Petra Kelling Petra Kelling ... Magdalena Scholl
Jörg Hube Jörg Hube ... Robert Scholl
Franz Staber Franz Staber ... Werner Scholl
Maria Hofstätter Maria Hofstätter ... Wärterin
Wolfgang Pregler Wolfgang Pregler ... Jakob Schmid
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Storyline

The Final Days is the true story of Germany's most famous anti-Nazi heroine brought to life. Sophie Scholl is the fearless activist of the underground student resistance group, The White Rose. Using historical records of her incarceration, the film re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl's life: a journey from arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence in 1943 Munich. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to her comrades, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless. Written by Diaboyos

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a young woman who did what few in Nazi Germany dared even think! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

24 February 2005 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$701,656 (Germany), 4 March 2005

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,795, 19 February 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$676,167, 13 August 2006
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's closing epilogue states: "The so-called People's Court imposed the death sentence on . . . [seven] . . . members of the White Rose . . . Harsh sentences were imposed on . . . [twelve members] . . . Other members of the White Rose suffered draconian punishments." See more »

Goofs

During his interrogation at trial, Hans Scholl defiantly states that he has served on the Eastern Front and that Judge Roland Freisler has not. Freisler then appears to be taken aback and momentarily silent. In actuality, Freisler was a veteran of the Eastern Front during World War I, saw significant combat, and was wounded and captured. Thus, his demeanor at Hans' statement is somewhat odd. See more »

Quotes

Sophie Magdalena Scholl: Please, don't worry. I'd do the same again.
Robert Scholl: You did the right thing. I'm proud of you both.
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Connections

Referenced in (500) Days of Summer (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Sugar
Written by Maceo Pinkard, Edna Alexander, and Sidney D. Mitchell
Performed by Billie Holiday
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User Reviews

 
Heroism to respect and cherish
1 February 2006 | by keith-farman-1See all my reviews

True heroism, like martyrdom, must be imposed by fate, not sought. This is a profound moral principle that exercised Joseph Conrad in Lord Jim. Again, Robert Bolt's Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons does everything he can to avoid his looming martyrdom - except sacrifice his conscience and moral identity.

This is not the only moral concept within this quiet, dignified, deeply moving German film, that resonates with significance for today's world. Much literature and most films, portray heroism as dramatic, with feats of daring and thrilling actions. This finely judged, beautifully played little film shows us heroism of a different kind: an unshakeable belief in justice, loyalty to personal conscience, and conviction unto death of the reality of the idea of freedom.

The story of the events leading up to the actual execution in 1943, of Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans and friend Christoph Probst, is horrifying for the sheer banality of their offence. As members of a student group, the White Rose, they were secretly distributing pamphlets daring to question Hitler's conduct of the war and the likelihood of victory. On discovery they are drawn into a process with none of the strutting, grandiose black clad villains so beloved of decades of British and American movies. Like someone standing too close to a dangerous machine, they are caught by a tiny thread of circumstance and increasingly dragged deeper and deeper into its destructive mechanism.

Each meticulous step in their tragedy is efficiently recorded, documented and processed with a detached calm that makes one shudder when one recalls the sheer bureaucratic efficiency with which the same machine disposed of 6 million Jews, Gypsies, and other selected groups of human beings. It is enormously affecting that three of the brightest and best of German youth are subjected to the same fate because of their refusal to conform to a corrupted nationalism and a cowed people. Perhaps because it suggests that the collective insanity that was Germany in the 30's and 40's was not a uniquely German phenomenon but one to which any society might succumb if the voice of justice is silenced, the rule of law subverted and fear becomes the currency of social life. Another conventional and comfortable fiction of British and American movies cast in doubt. And a thought for today.

The moral and dramatic heart of this absorbing film is in Sophie's extended interrogation by Mohr (Gerald Held), one time rural policeman now grateful to the Reich for his elevation to interrogator with the power of life or death over his prisoners. Mohr looks more like a stern Bank Manager unconvinced by a cash-flow projection than a leering, jack-booted man in black with silver lightning flashes. A father himself, he clearly finds Sophie's moral conviction and stubborn resistance disturbing. He can relate to her intelligence, her attractiveness, determination and self-destructive honesty. Everything except her moral condemnation of Hitler and the Reich. Mohr is like someone who knows the emperor is naked but is shocked when someone says it out loud. The acting in these scenes is simply superb, we see Sophie's sheer naked courage and idealistic conviction shake Mohr's blind unquestioning conformity. Only to be retrenched behind blank, dead, unthinking eyes.

The excellent Julia Jentsch (The Edukators and Downfall) plays brilliantly the intelligent, idealistic Sophie with her absolute commitment to justice and freedom. She moves towards her death through a system reminiscent of a strictly run, aseptic hospital. And at every step of the way, we see ordinary people, trapped in a nightmare they can see but not change. Each finds a way to show Sophie their empathy; from the communist prisoner staying alive by working for her jailors to the warderess who bends the rules to allow the three condemned young people a final cigarette and hug of comfort before their execution.

A great strength of the movie is that Sophie's religious faith is shown but left entirely personal. Both in her interrogation and sham trial, she appeals to moral principle and humanity not religious belief, in her defence of freedom and her refusal to be silent in the face of injustice.

This film is as unsettling as it is moving. It makes one ask - how many of us in similar circumstances, would have the courage to stand against the sheer weight of social conformity reinforced by an atmosphere of fear and an implacable application of lethal power? Heroism indeed, serving a belief in the ultimate right to personal conscience and the indestructibility of the idea of freedom in justice. The intensely moving photographs of the real Sophie Scholl and White Rose group that close the film give them a final victory over their oppressors. Sixty years after their deaths, their story is told and their memory cherished. It is fitting that such heroism be recognised. If you can seek this one out don't miss it. Inspirational.

zettel


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