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The Ninth Day

Germany, 2004 (MIFF 2005, International Panorama)

Director: Volker Schlondorff

Faith, conscience and evil lie at the very heart of Volker Schloendorff's masterly new film, [The Ninth Day]. Based on a true story, this measured and deeply compelling film explores one of the most morally bankrupt moments of modern history. Kremer (Ulrich Matthes) is a young Catholic priest incarcerated with many of his peers at Dachau concentration camp. Unexpectedly he is given nine days leave to return to his native Luxembourg. This is, of course, no act of benevolence. Kremer is given an ultimatum: he must convince the local bishop to abandon his quiet but potent acts of resistance and support Nazism, or else be returned to Dachau where he and his beloved family will perish. This already powerful story gains much complexity as Kremer and his nemesis, SS officer Gebhardt (August Diehl), who himself trained for the priesthood, engage in a supremely choreographed debate about the temptation and fall of Judas. [The Ninth Day] charts the test of one man's faith in a time of great moral depravity.
D Volker Schloendorff P Juergen Haase S Eberhard Gorner, Andreas Pfuger WS Telepool GmbH L German, French w/English subtitles TD 35mm/col/2004/98mins Volker Schloendorff was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1939. His films include [The Tin Drum] (1979), [Palmetto] (1988), [The Legends of Rita] (2000).

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