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Klaas

Sophie Scholl

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Alan, I could have sworn that I read your second-to-last post yesterday, or maybe as late as this morning. Did you delete and re-post that entry?


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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White Rose alert!

Kaminski to direct!

But nothing to do with Sophie Scholl's White Rose, apparently? According to IMDb.com, this story is about Lidya Litvak, a female Russian flying ace in WW2 (!) who painted white flowers on her plane.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Now I am thinking: Kaminski, a native English speaker, reportedly learned French in order to direct The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in French (against studio pressure to film in English, apparently). Will he now learn Russian in order to make White Rose in Lidya Litvak's native tongue? :)

Mods, perhaps you will create a new thread (or at least move the last few posts to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)?


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I'm reawakening this topic to post my review, which also happens to be the first article which I've posted at my fledgling website, davidsmedberg.com. As such, I'd really appreciate some feedback, especially critical feedback, since I'm not fully happy with the review myself (it's not comprehensive enough, nor does it know exactly what kind of review it wants to be), but it is what it is. Those of you who aren't Catholics may find the last few paragraphs uninteresting, since in them I'm struggling with issues which are particularly Catholic...I hope not, though. SDG, I specifically cite your review at one point.


That's just how eye roll.

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I never noticed anything bad with the picture...but I have need seen it for a few years...


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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It's just my opinion, but I don't find the power of this film to be in its cinematography.

 

If you are waiting for a first rate high-def blu-ray beautiful DVD version of the film, you're waiting basically to look at the insides of an interrogation room and a prison cell.

 

The power of this film is in the story, the writing, the acting and the ideas that all three combine to compellingly present to the viewer.

 

I suspect you could even watch the film here, and be able to love and appreciate it for what it is.

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I did not dig this film as much as I hoped. (I watched it last night so I could vote on it in Round 3 of 2020 list.) 

Looking over the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes (where it's in the high 80s) I found myself agreeing with both the positives and the negatives. It's a powerful story, but the film itself left me dissatisfied. 

As a total aside, reading through this thread was also quite an interesting reminder of how we all change and grow. I absolutely don't say this to pick on him, because I think (at least in reference to Trump advocates) that SDG has the online patience of a saint, but I did a little bit of a spit take at the "idiot" comment. Perhaps we all have smoothed over some of our edges over time...but I know there used to be a .... forcefulness...with which we expressed our opinions that looking back upon makes me cringe. (I include myself in that description.)

Anyhow, the movie....

There is a point about 40 minutes in where I thought the film had the potential to be a Protestant trial of Joan of Arc movie. I liked the interrogation scenes very much, but only as performance pieces. They are great scenes in isolation, the sort of thing an acting student might use for an audition, full of interesting possibilities and acting choices. But I am sympathetic to the complaint that with the outcome never in doubt, I wasn't always tracking how the four parts fit together. (The pre-capture, the interrogations, the jail scenes, the trial). For me the jail scenes leeched the tension right out of the film. I am not sure why. They just seemed so generic. In the Trial of Joan of Arc, the outcome is not in doubt, but the whole thing is about the trial and, by extension, whether God is giving her the words and what that signifies. Here it is hard to read it that way sense the interrogation breaks her down eventually.

Also, am I the only one that struggled with the first 20 minutes in thinking that they were foolishly and needlessly reckless? Maybe I've seen enough resistance films (Army of Shadows comes to mind), but it is almost like they want to get caught. The only way I can interpret that is the brash nature of youth, but the risk flirtation also felt strangely at odds with the care that had clearly been made to create and think through a cover story in the interrogation. (It is hard for me to think of the Sophie in the first 20 minutes and the Sophie in the next 40 minutes as the same person.) 

What I did like about the film, what quite frankly frightened me about it (potentially inflammatory political rhetoric ahead) is how familiar the logic and arguments of the fascist sounded. The cult of leadership, the lack of concern for truth in any objective sense leaving just rhetoric (how the venal motive can be framed as something else to exhaust the true truth seekers or assist in the self-brainwashing of the committed). 

The film by no means sucked. And I'm probably harder on it for being late to it. By the same token, I kept thinking of other prison and resistance films I admired -- Army of Shadows, In the Name of the Father, Hunger, A Man for All Seasons [even the final shot was reminiscent], and I am more or less of the mindset that if you spent the bulk of a movie thinking of other movies that signifies in some ways that the movie isn't working for you. 

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On 5/25/2020 at 8:51 AM, kenmorefield said:

Also, am I the only one that struggled with the first 20 minutes in thinking that they were foolishly and needlessly reckless? Maybe I've seen enough resistance films (Army of Shadows comes to mind), but it is almost like they want to get caught. The only way I can interpret that is the brash nature of youth, but the risk flirtation also felt strangely at odds with the care that had clearly been made to create and think through a cover story in the interrogation. (It is hard for me to think of the Sophie in the first 20 minutes and the Sophie in the next 40 minutes as the same person.) 

I had a similar reaction, though it was years ago. In the little background reading I did, I remember reading that she thought that the injustice of their executions would lead people to rise up against the regime, which certainly was not the case. I wondered if the filmmakers dipicted the showering down of the tracts into the lobby to anticipate the ending with the historically accurate showering down of the tracts from the air by the Allies.

On 5/25/2020 at 8:51 AM, kenmorefield said:

What I did like about the film, what quite frankly frightened me about it (potentially inflammatory political rhetoric ahead) is how familiar the logic and arguments of the fascist sounded. The cult of leadership, the lack of concern for truth in any objective sense leaving just rhetoric (how the venal motive can be framed as something else to exhaust the true truth seekers or assist in the self-brainwashing of the committed). 

This is a great point. I totally agree, and it's part of why I also rank this film highly. I wish we also could have kept A Hidden Life, which is a great comparator. It's interesting that Sophie Scholl is now celebrated as a hero, whereas Franz Jagerstatter is still very little known. I wonder if it's because Scholl's actions, though consonant with her faith, are construed as political, whereas Jagerstatter's political actions and conscientious objection were pretty much entirely and unavoidably extensions of his faith.

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I mentioned this briefly in another thread, but a great companion with Sophie Scholl is Su Friedrich's The Ties That Bind, which is on Criterion Channel right now. It's an experimental essay film that compares 20-something Friedrich's life in 1980s Chicago to her mother's in 1940s Germany. Her mother was the same age and from the same town as the Scholls.

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