In the last moments of World War II, a young German soldier fighting for survival finds a Nazi captain's uniform. Impersonating an officer, the man quickly takes on the monstrous identity of the perpetrators he is trying to escape from.
Giacomo (Fabio De Luigi) is a great heir of industrial, but he prefers to devote his mind to thoughts and fantasies. An esoteric will change Giacomo's life by telling him that he identified... See full synopsis »
Edoardo Maria Falcone
Fabio De Luigi,
The year is 1958. The war has been over for thirteen years and the Federal Republic of Germany is not only recovering but even booming. But where are the Nazis? Who has ever heard of the death camps? It looks as if everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds in this land of milk and honey - At least, until the day journalist Thomas Gnielka reports on the recognition by a German-Jewish artist of a local schoolteacher, a former guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp - At least, until Johann Radmann, a young prosecutor, decides to investigate the case - Nobody knows it yet but this is the dawn of a new era. Even if the road to awareness will be long and rocky.Written by
It is 1958. Fledgling lawyer Johann Radmann hears of an instance that took place some time in the past during WWII, and of which he has little knowledge. Seems a man complained about abuse of some sort during detention in the war, but the issue was dropped due to lack of interest. Radmann, however, is interested and decides to investigate. He is soon overwhelmed by a mountain of facts in which few people are interested or talk about. War Crimes is the topic, and Radmann can't find anyone among contemporaries who has even heard of Auschwitz.
"Labyrinth Of Lies" is a story about truth, not distorted but obscured or ignored. Life in post-war Germany did not include talk or discussion of wartime concentration camps, since it was old news and the war is over; everyone was doing what they had to do. Radmann is astonished at what he finds and at the magnitude of the atrocity, and whom it encompasses, and at the resistance he encounters.
The film is well-done in all respects and told in a semi-documentary aspect that lacks a sanguine feel, as a storyteller detached from the gruesome material. Nevertheless, it is an absorbing film and revelatory for those of us who have wondered how life transpired in Germany after the war. It is the second German-language Holocaust-related film I have seen recently, and personally I thought "Phoenix" was a better picture.
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