The Top Secret Trial of the Third ReichClosed Captioning
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In August of 1944, the trial of the men who conspired to assassinate the Fuhrer - the event that forms the basis of the film "Valkyrie" - began. Under orders from Joseph Goebbels, cameras were hidden in the courtroom, and the resulting footage was transformed into a propaganda film. Goebbels released his film to the public, but only succeeded in generating sympathy for the conspirators, who were sentenced to death by the visibly deranged Nazi tribunal judge Roland Freisler. Having miscalculated the impact of these images, Goebbels ordered the film banned and destroyed - but one print has been found. Through authentic footage of the trial, the film details the various attempts to assassinate Hitler - from the bomb in Munich's Burgerbraukeller, to Claus von Stauffenberg's explosive attack on the Wolfsshanze - and sheds light on the anti-Nazi resistance. Featuring previously unseen film and sound documentation of the National Committee for a Free Germany, a German resistance group, this astonishing film also unearths new information about members of the Kreisau Circle and the White Rose, of which Sophie Scholl was a member.
How we were and how we are?
The movie's plot rambles, at times, without concentrating exclusively on the July 20 happenings but rather reviewing all of the assasination attempts on Hitler. Despite this, I think the movie, still warrants a 5 star rating. The footage and the courtroom rants allow the viewers an opportunity to understand the spirit of the times, and the strength and daring of the few who decided to stand up against Hitler. The film is also apropos because it does indirectly ask us, what would we do in such situations? What is the makeup of the human psyche that these things were allowed to happen? In light of the "War of Choice" conducted by Bush into Iraq, what was General Powell's responsibility, or the responsibility of any military person who saw the war as immoral or wrong or ineptly waged? The themes covered in the movie still pertain today. The footage is old and grainy, but the story is very much alive.
What a shame this source material wasn't put to better use. The narration is clumsy and confusing. The narrator alternates between translating from the German footage and commentating, and you can't tell which is which.
Should have been better
A rather low-budget effort for a sadly overlooked topic. Spent most of the time rehashing the beginnings of Nazi Germany instead of concentrating on the core idea of the Nazi legal system's being an instrument of revenge. Jumps around in time and the fact that the narrator does all the voices is amateurish. There are long sections of german language spoken with no subtitles are offered; just a rushed summary by the narrator of what was said .