In November 1939, Georg Elser's attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler fails, and he is arrested. During his confinement, he recalls the events leading up to his plot and his reasons for deciding to take such drastic action.
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.
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
The movie is dedicated to the memory of the actor Gert Voss (1941-2014), who died few months before the release of the film. See more »
The Mourner's Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, is recited in the film using the modern Israeli Hebrew pronunciation. The version of the Kaddish that Kirsch would have known (and that his prayerbook would've contained) would have used the older Ashkenazic pronunciation used by German and Eastern European Jews. Instead of saying, "Yitgadal v' yitkadash," as they do in the film, they they should be saying, "Yisgadal v'yiskadash." See more »
You were all Nazis. In the Eastern sector, now you are all communists. Jesus, you Germans! If little green men from Mars landed tomorrow, you would all become green.
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Labyrinth of Lies is a 2014 German film about the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials that took place between 1963 and 1965. What distinguished the Frankfurt trails from all the other trials was that they were based on German law and because they happened 20+ years after the war, they were limited to murder charges. Several Nazis had been tried previously but they were convicted under international law and occurred right after the war.
The film begins in 1958 as a young prosecutor Johann Radmann (marvelously played by Alexander Fehling) is attracted to the case by a reporter (Andre Szymanski), and given support by the federal Attorney General (Gert Voss who is simply riveting). They must work against the denials, cover-ups and vested interests that try to keep the issue quiet.
The film gives you a real feel of the late 50s, and the photography and music support an excellent cast who do wonderful work. In a film about the holocaust, there is a tendency to shock, but director Giulio Ricciarelli skillfully shows that less is more.
There are some places where the film seems more like a docudrama, and some issues (e.g., Radmann's relationship with his mother) are only hinted at. But overall it's an excellent film, and while it may not be an equivalent to "Judgment at Nuremberg", it is well worth viewing.
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