|Mar. 23rd, 2006 08:11 am Lent Day 22 "Sophie Scholl the Final Days"|
As we mark the fourth year of the Iraqi occupation, one must acknowledge that in the United States of America, freedom of speech has NOT been lost in our popular culture. Most of the weekend news featured worldwide protests against the United States of America and President Bush. If we were living in Orwellian times as the opponents of the Patriot Act seem to believe, would "Fahrenheit 911" have been released during the 2004 Presidential Election? Leave a comment
In stark contrast to these loud times, is "Sophie Scholl the Final Days," a German movie nominated for Best Foreign Film. Sophie (Julia Jentsch) and Hans Scholl (Fabian Hinrichs) are college students who volunteer for the White Rose underground resistance. While spreading some anti Nazi propaganda at the University of Munich, the brother and sister are caught by the janitor. After many interrogations, The Scholl family goes on trial for treason against Adolph Hitler.
Spoken in German with English sub titles, "Sophie Scholle the Final Days" is a haunting movie. As Sophie, Julia Jentsch brings forth a Jennifer Jones "Song of Bernadette" quality to her performance. In stark contrast, the Judicial Nazis echo the Spanish Inquisition with their flowing red robes. Given that Sophie's final days were only 73 years ago, one is shocked that a death sentence resembles the brutality of the middle ages.
While the film is mostly shot indoors, the moments of sunlight bring forth a strong religious symbolism. “Sophie Scholl the Final Days” is one of the few films that examine the conscience of being a German Citizen under the dreadful days of the Dictator.