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France / Germany 2002, 125 minutes
Dir.  Costa-Gavras
Rating: [PG]
Genres: Drama / War

Topics: Religion, Period 1940s.


Aroview: An unusual WW2 drama concerning the true story of SS officer Kurt Gerstein (Tukur), who invented the chemical Zyklon-B not knowing it was to be used in gas-chambers to eliminate Jewish concentration camp inmates.

Upon discovering the truth, Gerstein - a devout Catholic - tried to secretly convince local pastors and American officials about the Holocaust but was repeatedly rebuffed. Even representatives of Pope Pious XII turned a deaf ear, except for a crusading young Jesuit (played here by Kassovitz) who nonetheless faced an uphill battle against the political agenda of the Vatican. Although the absence of any depiction of the horrors of Auschwitz slightly muffles the effect of Costa-Gavras' impassioned recreation of these events, the message is powerful and still controversial: the Church only apologised for its inactions in 1998. Adapted from the 1963 stageplay 'The Representative' by Rolf Huchhuth.

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DVD Features

  • no extra features
  • aspect ratio: 1.85:1

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