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 »
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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I saw this film on February 14th, 2006 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival that screens films for their Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture " explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.
The place and time are Nazi Germany of 1942-43. Germany is starting to have serious war setbacks like their huge loss and immense casualties at Stalingrad, and the allies, consisting of England, the United States, and Russia, are united in the destruction of the Third Reich. Within Germany, the opposition to Hitler, the Gestapo, and fascism is laughably small. Students with mimeograph machines try to educate and motivate other students to rally and protest. These students have to do this clandestinely because their activities are considered high treason and there is no freedom of speech or assembly.
Sophie Scholl and her older brother Hans are caught distributing subversive, anti-Hitler literature. The film focuses on the 21 year old Sophie, and she is NOT the weaker sex. She is interrogated for days and she is a spectrum of people far beyond her years; i.e., young, afraid, conniving, brave, docile, belligerent, religious, tough, tender, mature, etc.
The film is shot in color, but the color is heavily muted and it looks almost black and white. That is appropriate because the film plays as much as a documentary and as it does as a fictional drama. In fact, this story is based on a true story.
We live in a time when the head of Iran thinks the Holocaust didn't happen. It is moving to see that at least some young people in Germany during World War II were ashamed and disgusted by their country's murder of Jews, the mentally ill, gypsies, and women and children of occupied countries.
Sophie's religious beliefs were inspiring. She did not blame her God and she did not feel forsaken. God was simply her strength that she humbly called upon when she needed it most.
This film appears to have been made with a low budget. But, the impact is as powerful as large-budgeted films with similar themes like "Schindler's List" and "A Man For All Seasons." It has been nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Picture this year. And it deserves the nomination.
FYI There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
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