During the Second World War, a small group of students at Munich University begin to question the decisions and sanity of Germany's Nazi government. The students form a resistance cell ... See full summary »
For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
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
While being locked up in a Munich Gestapo prison cell the night from February 20 to 21 1943, Sophie Scholl and her cell-mate Else witness an allied air raid with flashlight, howling sirens and bursting bombs. In reality no bombs fell on Munich the time between the British attacks of December 22, 1942, and March 8, 1943. See more »
[they sing along to a Billy Holiday song broadcast by BBC London]
Sophie Magdalena Scholl:
I have to go.
[they take care to dial the radio to another station before turning it off]
What are you up to?
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This film is not about the Weisse Rose" (White Rose) resistance group, nor is it about Sophie Scholl. It sticks very closely to its title, and only deals with the last days of Sophie Scholl. Having staked out such a narrow subject, Marc Rothemund is able to narrate the story in great detail. This allows the use of pauses in the dialogue which add to the credibility and drama. I read the official version of the interrogation before seeing the film, and felt that a very good effort had been made to reconstruct what may have actually happened. I also felt that the atmosphere which the film conveyed to be entirely plausible for that time, which I am not old enough to have lived through. For instance, the characters always seemed to be holding back, and not opening their feelings to each other.
Because the official version of the interrogation was dictated by Robert Mohr, it is certain to contain many gaps, such as the lines of questioning before reaching Sophie Scholl's quoted replies. The film may have tended to be too dramatic in filling those gaps. It was surely too dramatic in showing so many chance encounters in the various corridors. Perhaps this tendency to over-dramatise was necessary to present the otherwise rather dry historical events. At least the final result was almost believable, in contrast to many films about the past, and it was an improvement on earlier films covering the White Rose, simply because so much more has come to light since they were made.
This is one of the best dramatic reconstructions of historical events that I have seen.
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