Marc Rothemund’s film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, which was released in 2005, is a wonderful German film on the resistance movement in World War II Germany. The film focuses on the last days of Sophie Scholl (Julia Jentsch), who, with her brother, Hans (Fabian Hinrichs), was arrested for distributing anti-Hitler pamphlets at the university in Munich. Their capture, interrogation, trial, and sentencing are depicted here with a believability and simplicity that few films are able to capture. The film holds very true to the actual events.
The film plays out almost like a theater performance, with much of the film taking place in prison cells and the office of Robert Mohr (Gerald Alexander Held). In these tighter quarters the feeling of being directly in the room with the characters is often more strongly felt, making the whole experience that much more personal.
Sophie Scholl gives us a part of World War II which is sometimes seldom seen or recognized. Yet this story, as well as others like it, is as significant as the other aspects of the war which have already been put on the screen time and time again. The resistance movement within Germany during the Nazi regime is an often inspiring study and those who were a part of that movement do deserve recognition.
I do believe that much can be learned from people like Sophie and Hans Scholl. They loved their country, Germany, and when they saw the principles on which that country stood being destroyed, it caused them to act – pointing out the atrocities that the Nazi Party to that point had committed. In doing that they were branded as traitors by the regime. Yet few today would claim that Sophie, Hans, the other members of the White Rose student resistance group, and all other resistance fighters in Germany were wrong in their decision to stand up to the government rather than put the blinders on and ignore the crimes committed by their leaders.
Much could be written on how this film and the events portayed are pertinant to current issues and events here in America. I won’t go into that, except to say: when times like those in the film arise, I would hope that we have the will and desire to stand up for the ideals that we may see crumbling around us, and will strive to see our own county avoid losing itself as has happened at times in the past, both within America and in other countries. Just see the film and draw your own conclusions. I found it inspiring and I hope your viewing experience will be equally memorable for you.