Wednesday, September 03, 2008
AMEN. (2002, France/Germany/Romania, Costa-Gavras
AMEN. ("Der Stellvertreter" 2002, France/Germany/Romania, Costa-Gavras, screenplay with Jean-Claude Grumberg, from the Rolf Hochhuth stageplay The Representative)
Kurt Gerstein was a Christian, an SS officer and a chemist who developed Zyklon B to purify drinking water. Horrified at its use in gas chambers, he pleads with Lutheran and Catholic churchmen to intervene. Portrait of institutional complicity is balanced by Jesuit Father Riccardo (a composite character) who joins in Gerstein's futile opposition. Costa-Gavras is an acknowledged master of political film-making, but AMEN falls short of the incendiary "Z" or his Hollywood cross-over MISSING, which shook the political convictions of so many. Stephanie Zacharek: "Hard-hitting if heavy-handed."
THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK, THE ASSISI UNDERGROUND, SOPHIE SCHOLL, THE STATEMENT