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Screening: “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days”
Gaborone Film Society presents a free screening of “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days”
Sophie Scholl was the name invoked by Hitler’s secretary, Traudl Junge, when she said how ashamed she felt as an old woman on realising that not everyone her age in Germany went along with the evil craziness of nazism. Scholl was the 21-year-old student in Munich who in 1943 was executed as a member of the White Rose resistance group, engaged in distributing anti-Hitler leaflets on the university campus. This film portrays Scholl’s last days before her death by guillotine; Percy Adlon’s Five Last Days (1982) and Michael Verhoeven’s The White Rose (1983) also addressed this subject, but Marc Rothemund’s new movie is the first to use recently discovered Gestapo interrogation transcripts.
This is a fiercely sombre movie, taken up mostly with Scholl’s questioning – but powerfully acted, particularly by Julia Jentsch as Scholl, whose courage and humanity are never more obvious than when she is hauled up before the grotesque bullies and buffoons of Nazi Germany’s judiciary. As portrayed by Jentsch, Scholl is extraordinarily self-possessed, even in her darkest hour, and this does seem to have been borne out by the historical facts, although there is a terrible poignancy in her tiny, secret hope that the law’s delay – she is hoping for a 99-day period of grace before execution – will allow the Allies to arrive and save her. A grim, but serious and worthwhile film.
In German, with English subtitles; 120 minutes