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Sophie Scholl


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Has anyone here seen this movie? It ended up in my 2005 top 10 but I haven't seen any discussion on this film on this board. I liked it very much (it even moved me to tears the first time i saw it) but afterwards I thought it had some considerable flaws. I'd like to share my thought but well, if noone has seen it....

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Just got back from the screening. Sophie Scholl is fantastic -- probably a shoo-in for my 2006 Top 10 list. That's two top-10 caliber films within about 50 hours! Woo hoo! (The other one was Tsotsi.) Almost makes me wish I loved The New World as much as Jeff -- I'd be three for three in 2006! More when time permits.....

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

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WOOOO HOO!!!

Let me add my enthusiasm to SDG's!

Put this on your must-see list! Consider the Oscar-nomination to be spot-on in this case. About half of Sophie Scholl: The Final Days is like watching Agent Starling face off against Hannibal Lecter across a desk in a nerve-wracking debate.

It's also one of the most inspiring portrayals of faith to hit the big screen since A Man for All Seasons.

Julia Jentch is fantastic, and Gerald Alexander Held is frightening and complex as her interrogator.

I think I too have found another top-tenner for 2006... already!

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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WOOOO HOO!!!

Let me add my enthusiasm to SDG's!

Put this on your must-see list!

Yes! We sort of split on The New World and Tsotsi (each of which was loved by one of us but only liked by the other), but we come together on Sophie Scholl!

About half of Sophie Scholl: The Final Days is like watching Agent Starling face off against Hannibal Lecter across a desk in a nerve-wracking debate.

It's also one of the most inspiring portrayals of faith to hit the big screen since A Man for All Seasons.

Two brilliant, brillliant comparisons, Jeff. I wish I'd thought of the Silence of the Lambs one myself. (I did think of the Man for All Seasons one -- it's in the review I sent off to the Register yesterday -- but that was the obvious one. )

What makes the Man for All Seasons comparison work, I think, is that Sophie Scholl is one of those very few films that makes goodness not just admirable or even inspiring (that's rare enough), but attractive, winsome and interesting.

I admire Jeremy Irons in The Mission, but I'm more interested in Robert Di Nero. Cf. also Victor Lazlo and Rick Blaine, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, etc., etc. Even in films like The Passion of Joan of Arc (another obvious point of comparison for Sophie Scholl), fascinating as the Dreyer-Falconetti Joan is, I'm not sure how much I would especially enjoy being her friend. But Scofield's Thomas More, ah -- him, I would love to hang around with. Him I would want to be when I grow up.

Sophie Scholl is like that. She isn't just good and brave -- though oh, how good and brave she is -- she's also smart, she's self-possessed, intellectual, interested in music and philosophy (not to mention, stepping outside the film to her Wikipedia page, art, literature, theology, hiking, skiing and swimming).

In that scene with her parents, you can just feel (along with the other obvious emotional freight of the scene) how desperately proud of her they are. If you are a parent, you can't help thinking how proud you would be of your daughter if she grew up to be someone like Sophie.

Even her interrogator (who of course has a son Sophie's age) isn't unaffected by it. Here is this young woman, to all appearances the flower of German womanhood, an initially enthusiastic member of the girls' wing of Hitler Youth, educated at National Socialist expense -- yet she inexplicably rejects the world the Nazis are trying to build. What is he to make of her?

Great, great film. Can't wait to see it again... and watch it with my daughter!

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

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I'm glad positive reports are starting to drip in. I'm glad I wasn't mistaken when I considered the film worthy of a top 10 spot ;-)

In that scene with her parents, you can just feel (along with the other obvious emotional freight of the scene) how desperately proud of her they are. If you are a parent, you can't help thinking how proud you would be of your daughter if she grew up to be someone like Sophie.

Even her interrogator (who of course has a son Sophie's age) isn't unaffected by it. Here is this young woman, to all appearances the flower of German womanhood, an initially enthusiastic member of the girls' wing of Hitler Youth, educated at National Socialist expense -- yet she inexplicably rejects the world the Nazis are trying to build. What is he to make of her?

Yeah, what are we to make of her? Good question. I know what the filmmakers make of her but I'm not really sure she actually is what they make of her. Is she really an inspiring, almost flawless martyr? I don't really know...

Edited by Klaas
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So I'm reading through the rave review at Cinematical, nodding with each enthusiastic point, until I get to this paragraph:

:spoilers:

The interrogations turn the movie into essentially a two character play, but the performances are so extraordinary that the scenes are fraught with tension and thrilling in their audacity. Jentsch gives Scholl the passion of youth: she

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Opened today in NYC. Times review.

We've actually got a play slated to go into development this next year concerning the White Rose movement. Hope this doesn't render the play redundant.

Edited by Ron

I've posted a couple hundred of my Soul Food Movies write-ups at letterboxd

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Well, I have a hunch you'll have some questions for him about the depiction of Sophie's faith. It's interesting. I haven't seen other reviews that address that.

The Salon writer who interviewed him actually summed up Sophie's resourcefulness as stemming from "her faith in the future." Uh... well, in the movie I saw, she had faith in God.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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The Salon writer who interviewed him actually summed up Sophie's resourcefulness as stemming from "her faith in the future." Uh... well, in the movie I saw, she had faith in God.

:huh:

Well, don't blame the Salon writer. He/She may have been over-ruled by the editor. Did you see Charles Taylor's recent interview, reflecting on his termination by Salon?

This has never been stated publicly. When Stephanie was assigned to review "Fahrenheit 9/11," and they realized she was turning in a negative review, they quickly assigned a positive review to balance it. I want to be very clear about this. They got Andrew O'Hehir to do the positive review. Andrew did not write anything he did not believe in, and he would not do that. He has a great deal of integrity. He liked the movie and he said that. But Salon used him to get the opinion they wanted because they were unwilling to stick by a critic's negative opinion. I was told at various times that there were people I criticized in pieces who should not be criticized because they were

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Charles Taylor was fired?!!?! Oh my. He's brilliant. So are Zacharek and O'Hehir for that matter. But how interesting that's he's been that up-front about the blatant politics at Salon on the editorial level.

“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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Haven't seen the film (yet), but I loved this review by Anthony Lane, especially where he refutes the criticism that the film is too simplistic or one-dimensional in its depiction of good vs. evil:

:spoilers: ?

I have heard viewers complain that the film overplays its hand, sliding first into a cartoon of saintliness, in the case of Sophie, and then into a cartoon of malice, in the case of Roland Freisler (Andre Hennicke), the judge who condemned her to death. Such a complaint says more about us than it does about the movie. We may simply have forgotten that, in the wake of circumstances that we can no longer envisage in our own lives, a few people might well surprise themselves with the vigor of their moral response. As for Freisler, you would be right to say that Hennicke
Edited by glatisant
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Lane is far more eloquent on this point than I was, though I said some of the same things, for he is right. Nice to see that someone else also did the research and discovered that Friesler isn't just a stereotype, he's the reality behind the stereotype.

“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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A question for those who have seen the movie: during the trial we are introduced to a 3rd member of the group (I think his name was Probst). It is clear that he reacts in a very different way than Sophie and Hans. What did you make of that? Why do you think the the director portrayed him this way (apart from being historically correct)? Or maybe it's better to ask how his reaction made you feel about Sophie?

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A question for those who have seen the movie: during the trial we are introduced to a 3rd member of the group (I think his name was Probst). It is clear that he reacts in a very different way than Sophie and Hans. What did you make of that? Why do you think the the director portrayed him this way (apart from being historically correct)? Or maybe it's better to ask how his reaction made you feel about Sophie?
AFAIK, the main thing about Probst was that unlike Sophie or Hans he had a wife and children. All three of them wanted to get Probst off so that his children wouldn't grow up fatherless. Does that relate to what you were thinking of?

Incidentally, FWIW, the director mentioned to me that whereas Sophie and Hans were Protestant, Probst was Catholic.

“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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After seeing the film (and reading the leaflets) I think there is a sense in which the White Rose wasn't much different from idealistic student organizations during the Vietnam War (or various bloggers today) in that they think that once people read their diatribe, the people will rise up. To be sure, the White Rose was taking far more risk in that repressive time. Even when Sophie learns there will be a public trial, she thinks that it means people will hear their message and the students will rise up.

What makes this story different isn't the White Rose, it is Sophie and her fortitude and fidelity when caught. It is a study in courage (and in Mohr's eventual cowardice). It is quite obvious that Mohr is cast as Pilate (and it's reinforced when he goes over to wash his hands at the end of the final interrogation.) He tries to save her, but she refuses to take any of the ways out that are offered.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Another thought. I really wished they had not had Mohr saying "God doesn't exist." It's too easy to paint Nazis as godless, when there were many church going folk who not only went along out of lack of courage to fight back, but supported the Nazi cause.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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FWIW, the director is an atheist. (One of the most fascinating things he said in my interview, when I raised the subject of the portrayal of Scholl's faith and observed how many powerful artistic depictions of faith come from unbelieving artists, was, "I believed in God the whole time I was making this movie.")

Perhaps he portrayed Mohr as godless because... Mohr was godless.

“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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AFAIK, the main thing about Probst was that unlike Sophie or Hans he had a wife and children. All three of them wanted to get Probst off so that his children wouldn't grow up fatherless. Does that relate to what you were thinking of?

I'm not sure if we're entering :spoilers: territory yet but we sure are getting close...

In a certain way this may relate to my thoughts. I agree that both Sophie and Hans wanted Probst to get off. But when Probst makes his plea it is clearly that Sophie is shocked. Maybe in all her naivity she thought that they would all stand up for their cause. Of course you can see that they sympathize with his position and in the end they offer him 'forgiveness'. They do not blame him for betraying their beliefs. And that is where I'm not really comfortbale with the movie. It seems to me that Probst is another device to show how noble Sophie is. His cowardness is juxtaposed with Sophie's courage and in the end Sophie forgives a betrayer. Wow, what a great woman she is.... OK, she certainly must have ben a very great woman. A woman that could serve as a rolemodel for many. But.... instead of Sophie forgiving Probst shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't Probst be the one forgiving Sophie and Hans? After all, wasn't it Sophie's and Hans' unaproved and reckless action that got him in this situation to begin with?

It is clear to me that the action at the university was not approved by the whole group. They schemed it secretly and there's even a fragment in which the other members clearly do not agree with the plan. The action is imo reckless and shows that Hans and Sophie are more naive (or idealistic) than the rest of the group. Hans even says he'll take all responsibility for the action. The movie shows what an idiotic statement that really is. Do the people that end up being killed as a result of this action benefit anything from the fact that Hans takes all resonsibility? I don't think so.... I do not want to downlplat Sophie's courage or anything. It is after all circumstances like these that bring out the real hero in a person. It's just that, to me, the movie would have been more balanced if it reckognized these things more clearly. As it is the movies shows Sophie almost as a flawless saint. I think I could have related more easily with her if she'd been portrayed as a 'real' human being who showed real heroism in the situation she got herself into.

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