Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Dave Hackman, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Dave Hackman

    Dave Hackman Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 11, 2000
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    This 2005 German movie was a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in the 78th Annual Academy Awards. As usual, it takes a while for it to play stateside and I’m glad I made the effort to see it.

    1943 Munich Germany, an underground movement known as the White Rose continues creating and distributing leaflets. The initial written message focused on the apathy of the German people who allowed their “government” to flourish. Later messages reveal hidden truths and offer suggestions on ways to fight back. Members are likeminded individuals usually associated with the local university who share a similar distaste for the current Nazi regime and their atrocities.

    Hans Scholl (Fabian Hinrichs) a founding member and his sister Sophie (Julia Jentsch) meet up with fellow members to finish producing more leaflets. Hans gets the idea to carry them inside a briefcase into the university and place them about. Denounced as too risky by all members except for Sophie who volunteers herself for the task because she believes it’s easier for a girl to get inside unchecked.

    Both go to the university and work together placing stacks of leaflets every few feet for maximum coverage. After they exit, Hans notices a few remaining in the briefcase and decides they should push their luck by returning a second time. As they drop the last batch and the classroom doors begin to swing open, Sophie gives one pile a push from the third floor that blankets the entire lower level.

    Unfortunately, they are both caught and separated for integration. The film focuses mainly on Sophie as she strongly denounces accusations levied by her meticulous experienced interrogator. Her wit and strength are evident from the onset as she holds her own without hesitation or help. News about Hans at first solely comes from her interrogator, who reads from written reports handed to him. Sophie’s luck doesn’t last forever but her unashamed confident spirit and loyalty to the movement does.

    Julia Jentsch plays Sophie wonderfully. She was clever, likeable, heroic and emotional. I found Fabian Hinrichs (Hans) to be a bit less convincing especially when he is sharing a cigarette with his sister.

    This is a heavy read (subtitles) for those non-fluent in German. The majority of time is dedicated to Sophie’s vocal battles with her integrator and conversations with those while under arrest. My eyes were tired at the end of this.

  2. Armin Jager

    Armin Jager Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 21, 2004
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    Julia is very much the current critic's favourite in Germany and deservedly so, but I'm not sure if she can move beyond the arthouse level though THE EDUKATORS was a big commercial success. My bet for stardom among the current German leading ladies is still Alexandra Maria Lara from DOWNFALL. I hope Coppola doesn't botch his current film with her.

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