Sophie Scholl: The Final Days-attachment0

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

Movie Information

In Brief: The film charts the last days of 21-year-old Sophie Scholl's life, when she and her brother (Fabian Hinrichs)—members of the anti-Nazi student organization, the White Rose—were arrested, interrogated, “tried” and executed by the Nazi government for high treason. An uneven and imperfect film that rises above its shortcomings on the power of its material.
Score:

Genre: Fact-Based Drama
Director: Marc Rothemund
Starring: Julia Jentsch, Alexander Held, Fabian Hinrichs, Johanna Gastdorf, André Hennicke
Rated: NR

From my original review: While imperfect—not in the least because of an annoying, inapt and cheesy-sounding musical score by Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek that makes the film sound like a bad TV drama—Marc Rothemund’s Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005) is still a truly remarkable film. It’s remarkable because the centerpiece scenes of Sophie’s (Julia Jentsch, Downfall) interrogation and trial by the Nazis are taken directly from recently released transcripts of the events themselves. (It’s especially chilling to hear Sophie’s last words to the court, since they’re so close to Chaplin’s words in Monsieur Verdoux (1947), which also indicts a corrupt system, albeit in very different ways.) That sort of realism doesn’t necessarily translate into convincing drama, but it does here—thanks to director Marc Rothemund and the incisive performances of Jentsch and Alexander Held (who plays her chief interrogator). Jentsch is particularly fine. Her ability to make us believe Sophie’s somewhat naive youthful idealism is what makes the effortless eloquence of her words believable.

Full review here

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Sophie Scholl: The Final Days Friday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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