Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days [2005]

World War II along with its various Nazi-engineered events and future repercussions didn’t just leave an indelible scar on the collective psyche of Germany and the East European countries like Poland, Czech Republic, etc., they continue to haunt them to this date – case in point, the number of films that continue to be made on subject and themes emanating from those dark episodes. This German drama, based on the last few days of the life of Sophie Scholl, an active member of a non-violent underground student-cell called White Rose, who was tried by the Third Reich in a fast-track kangaroo court and executed along with her brother and friend for distributing incendiary and seditious pamphlets in a Berlin university, is another member of the long-list of films mentioned above. Julia Jentsch is superb in the role of the young and fearless eponymous martyr, and so is Alexander Held as her complex, morally indiscernible interrogator. It’s not a perfect or a great film by any measure; but what made it intense and quite gripping even, was, instead of focusing on a whole lot of issues, the director made her iron-willed heroine the sole subject for the film – consequently we got to see in heartbreaking detail her transformations as her death became more and more inevitable.

Director: Marc Rothemund
Genre: Drama/Historical Drama/Political Drama/Biopic/Docu-Drama
Language: German
Country: Germany


Sam Juliano said...

I quite agree Shubhajit that it's not a great film, but it's one that wields considerable power, and packs an emotional wallop near it's conclusion. The interrogation scenes (most of the film) are riveting, and the lead performance quite extraordinary.

Excellently framed capsule assessment!

Shubhajit said...

Thanks Sam. Yeah, the film is quite riveting, and the interrogation scenes are especially gripping. As you've agreed, that has been helped significantly by the powerful performances by the actors. And the film also introduced non-Germans to a martyr who I wouldn't have known otherwise.