Sophie Scholl takes a look at the final days of White Rose activist Sophie Scholl. We don’t really get to see any background on who she is, and we don’t need to. Everything we need is shown to us over the last 6 days of her life.
With her fellow activists she strove to educate the German people of what was really going on around them, not just that Germany was going to loose the war, but that the atrocities propagated under nazism would bring world wide condemnation, and that the people needed to rise up and bring an end to the Nazi reign.
Of course, even the best-laid plans can go wrong, and Sophie and her brother are caught distributing pamphlets on campus, they are arrested and interrogated. It’s here that the movie really takes off, with a battle of whits between Sophie and her interrogator. Sophie is brave, sure of her convictions and able to stand firm with a passion that bewilders her captors.
With cunning use of simple music and a compelling script, the movie manages to keep the pace tight and the tension high.
It’s a unique film as it not only has a strong message to deliver, but it’s gripping style also makes it entertaining – in a strange way. It’s a message that at first seems a little like typical student anarchism, but with Sophie’s passionate arguments you soon realise that it goes far deeper than a motley group of students and gets to the core of what it is to be human.
The message, punctuated with positive religious hope and symbolism, is one of conscience. A conscience that the German people had lost under the heavy grip of National Socialism. A conscience that should have made them cry out when the disabled, the Jews, the undesirables were rounded up and simply disappeared. It’s a message of hope in a world lost in a sea of madness and desperation.
It’s about taking a stand for what you believe, for offering your life in place of another.
Visually Sophie Scholl is a mixture of dreary desperation and bright shining hope. The pallet is muted, with the German penchant for subdued colours and greys, forcing the focus on the dialogue that drives the movie, and the characters that give it it’s character and life.
It’s hard to miss the Christian message as Sophie gazes skyward with hope through any window she sees, as she petitions God in prayer, and accepts her fate with the grace and poise of one who knows with unwavering certainty where she is going.
A brilliant and moving story, Sophie Scholl encourages us to live for something, to stay strong, and that nothing done with the right motivation is ever wasted.
Food for thought
Is your world view based on popular opinion, or do you take the time to discover for yourself what the truth really is?
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: M – Contains Adult Themes.
Duration: 117 mins.
Genre: Foreign, German.
Actors: Julia Jentsch, Johanna Gastdorf, Gerald Alexander Held, Fabian Hinrichs, André Hennicke, Florian Stetter, Johannes Suhm, Maximilian Brückner.
Director: Marc Rothemund.
Release Date: Available Now.