The Reader (2008)
Michael: I'm not frightened. I'm not frightened of anything. The more I suffer, the more I love. Danger will only increase my love. It will sharpen it, it will give it spice. I will be the only angel you need. You will leave life even more beautiful than you entered it. Heaven will take you back and look at you and say: Only one thing can make a soul complete, and that thing is love.
Hanna Schmitz: It doesn't matter what I feel. It doesn't matter what I think. The dead are still dead.
Michael: I don't know what to say. I've never been with a woman before. We've been together four weeks, and I can't live without you. I can't. Even the thought of it kills me.
Hanna Schmitz: [to Michael] You don't have the power to upset me. You don't matter enough to upset me.
Michael Berg: I was fifteen. I was coming home from school. I was feeling ill. And a woman helped me.
Professor Rohl: Societies think they operate by something called morality, but they don't. They operate by something called law.
Professor Rohl: 8000 people worked at Auschwitz. Precisely 19 have been convicted, and only 6 of murder.
Professor Rohl: The question is never "Was it wrong", but "Was it legal". And not by our laws, no. By the laws at the time.
Young Ilana Mather: [Testifying in court] Each of the guards would choose a certain number of women. Hanna Schmitz chose differently.
Judge: In what way differently?
Young Ilana Mather: She had favourites. Girls, mostly young. We all remarked on it, she gave them food and places to sleep. In the evening, she asked them to join her. We all thought - well, you can imagine what we thought. Then we found out - she was making these women read aloud to her. They were reading to her. At first we thought this guard... this guard is more sensitive... she's more human... she's kinder. Often she chose the weak, the sick, she picked them out, she seemed to be protecting them almost. But then she dispatched them. Is that kinder?
Rose Mather: People ask all the time what I learned in the camps. But the camps weren't therapy. What do you think these places were? Universities? We didn't go there to learn. One becomes very clear about these things. What are you asking for? Forgiveness for her? Or do you just want to feel better yourself? My advice, go to the theatre, if you want catharsis. Please. Go to literature. Don't go to the camps. Nothing comes out of the camps. Nothing.
Professor Rohl: You have been skipping seminars.
Michael: I have a piece of information, concerning one of the defendants. Something they do not admitting.
Professor Rohl: What information? You don't need to tell me. It's perfectly clear you have a moral obligation to disclose it to the court.
Michael: It happens this information is favorable to the defendant. It can help her case. It may even affect the outcome, certainly the sentencing.
Professor Rohl: So?
Michael: There's a problem. The defendant herself is determined to keep this information secret.
Professor Rohl: What are her reasons?
Michael: Because she's ashamed.
Professor Rohl: Ashamed of what? Have you spoken to her?
Michael: Of course not.
Professor Rohl: Why "of course not"?
Michael: I can't. I can't do that. I can't talk to her.
Professor Rohl: What we feel isn't important. It's utterly unimportant. The only question is what we do. If people like you don't learn from what happened to people like me, then what the hell is the point of anything?
Michael Berg: I'm aware I was difficult. I wasn't always open with you. I'm not open with anyone.
Julia: I knew you were distant. You know, I always assumed it was my fault.
Michael Berg: Julia. How wrong can you be.
Teacher: The notion of secrecy is central to western literature. You may say, the whole idea of character is defined by people holding specific information which for various reasons, sometimes perverse, sometimes noble, they are determined not to disclose.
Michael: [reading from "Lady Chatterley's Lover"]
Hanna Schmitz: This is disgusting. Where did you get this?
Michael: I borrowed it from someone at school.
Hanna Schmitz: Well, you should be ashamed.
Hanna Schmitz: Go on.
Michael: I sat in the second carriage because I thought you might kiss me.
Hanna Schmitz: Kid, you thought we could make love in a tram?
Hanna Schmitz: Is it true what you said? That I don't matter to you?
Hanna Schmitz: [shakes head]
Michael: Do you forgive me?
Hanna Schmitz: [nods]
Michael: Do you love me?
Hanna Schmitz: [nods]
Michael: What's your name?
Hanna Schmitz: What?
Michael: Your name.
Hanna Schmitz: Why do you want to know?
Michael: I've been here three times. I want to know your name. What's wrong with that?
Hanna Schmitz: Nothing, kid. There's nothing wrong with that. It's Hanna.
Michael: You looked so suspicious.
Hanna Schmitz: What's yours, kid?
Hanna Schmitz: Michael. So I'm with a Michael.
Michael: What are you doing? What is this? Why did you behave as if you didn't know me?
Hanna Schmitz: You didn't want to know me! You could see I was in the first carriage. So why did you get on the second?
Michael: What did you think I was doing? Why the hell did you think I was there?
Hanna Schmitz: How should I know? I've been working. I need a bath, and I'd like to be by myself. Would you please leave?
Michael: I didn't mean to upset you.
Hanna Schmitz: You don't have the power to upset me. You don't matter enough to upset me.
Hanna Schmitz: Do you have a book?
Michael: Yes, I have. I took one with me this morning.
Hanna Schmitz: What is it?
Michael: The Odyssey by Homer. It's my homework.
Hanna Schmitz: We're changing the order we do things. Read to me first, kid. Then we make love.
Michael: What's wrong now?
Hanna Schmitz: Nothing's wrong. Nothing.
Michael: You know, you never ask. You never bother to ask how *I* am!
Hanna Schmitz: You never say.
Michael: It just happens to be my birthday. It's my birthday, that's all! In fact, you've never even asked when it is!
Hanna Schmitz: You want a fight, kid!
Michael: No, I don't want a fight! What's wrong with you?
Hanna Schmitz: What business is it of yours?
Michael: Always on your terms, everything. What you want, it's always what *you* want. My friends were giving me a party.
Hanna Schmitz: Then why are you here then? Go back to your party. Is that what you want?
Michael: I brought you these flowers. To say thank you.
Hanna Schmitz: Put them over there in the sink.
Michael: I would've come earlier but I've been in bed for three months.
Hanna Schmitz: You are better now?
Michael: Yes, thank you.
Hanna Schmitz: Have you always been weak?
Michael: Oh no, I've never been sick before. It's incredibly boring. There's nothing to do. I couldn't even be bothered to read.
Brigitte: You didn't wake me.
Michael Berg: You were sleeping.
Brigitte: You let me sleep because you can't bear to have breakfast with me.
Michael: [from the theatrical trailer] .
[At the Tram Terminal]
Michael: [in insistent upset voice] I'm looking for Hanna Schmitz!
Tram Supervisor: Schmitz has left.
Michael: [surprised and even more upset] LEFT?