A Roma boy is placed in a mental hospital and experiences the Nazi euthanasia program. Aware of what was happening and attached to friends, the lad attempts to sabotage the program. The ...
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A Roma boy is placed in a mental hospital and experiences the Nazi euthanasia program. Aware of what was happening and attached to friends, the lad attempts to sabotage the program. The film addresses the complexities of the program director, the lives of the child victims, and the struggles of the child protagonist. More than five thousand children were killed in the Nazi euthanasia program.Written by
Finding this movie was a big surprise. The title and subject were a drawcard but, did not expect to find a modern German treatment of this theme, to be so near perfection. It's un-sensationalistic and visually striking - with both the director Kai Wessel and cinematographer Hagen Bogdanski pulling out all stops to create a fully involving experience. Based on actual events as documented in Robert Dome's novel (Domes won both the Gustav Heinemann Peace Prize and the Lufti literature prize for this work). The screenplay adaptation by prolific writer/actor Holger Karsten Schmidt, might perhaps feature some over extended elements (in a couple of minor details) - for some, this may also include the unnecessary addition of a 'symbolic' character - in an attempt to add an uplifting finale (although the movie is honest enough to fully acknowledge this!).
Impressive performances litter this thoughtful production - featuring standout leads from Ivo Pietzcker as Ernst Lossa, the young Yenish lad sent to a Nazi sanatorium while waiting for his father to be processed in a camp, Sebastian Koch as the enigmatic Dr Veithausen (a character not easily forgotten) Henriette Confurius and Fritzi Haberlandt as nurses with conflicting views on the Fuhrer's methods. Many other vibrant cast members shine throughout. There's even a look at the acquiescence of the Catholic Church during this shocking time. The situations depicted creep up on you until the full extent of their seriousness is realised. While this theme (factual) may not appeal to everyone (but what does?) those who like movies based on contemporary historical events - brought to life in compelling detail, should not be disappointed. Highly recommended for serious viewers.
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