Tonight I (finally) started my moviegoing for 2006. I know some of you have already been to the movies this year, but I just haven't felt like it recently, though I'm not really sure why.
Anyway, I saw Sophie Scholl: the Final Days and let me tell you, I'm feeling really good about 2006 now. I heard about this film because Sophie Scholl was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award this year (it was beat out by Gavin Hood's Tsotsi). Sophie Scholl was directed by Marc Rothemund, who doesn't have any film credits I recognize, but this movie is really great.
The film is mostly Sophie herself in an interrogation room with her main accuser, an inspector for the Nazi government police. Sophie and her brother Hans were caught, basically red-handed, distributing flyers promoting an anti-Hitler movement in Nazi Germany in 1943. (Finally, a film about German youth who aren't disaffected and bored but who want to change something and make a difference! After The Edukators and Love in Thoughts, I was getting worried.) Sophie is basically being tried for speaking out against Hitler under a totalitarian regime that wants no voices of dissent to be heard. But Sophie never looks like a victim. She's cool under pressure and denies everything outright. She argues and discusses her political point of view with her accusers and makes everyone in the room look like raving lunatics next to her calm, collected veneer. It's really quite impressive. The film is powerful, exciting and resonant (the misplaced patriotism of the German people in Nazi Germany reminds me a lot of the United States these days) and the end packs an emotional, unflinching wallop. Really an excellent film.