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LABYRINTH OF LIES (2014, DEU) Movie review, plot, trailer, rating

Johann Radmann (Alexander Fehling) is a young and idealistic public prosecutor in Frankfurt who in 1958 quite by accident took over the case of a primary school teacher for whom there are strong indications that he was once an SS man and a guard at Auschwitz. At the time when the Nazis were in power Radmann was still a child, and the somewhat naive prosecutor is not even aware of the scale of what was happening only fifteen years earlier. Everyone has heard that there was a place called Auschwitz, but what was there is not very well known to them, and it is not that they are overly interested. The war is long over, the general thesis is that it is better to pick and rummage as little as possible, since the main ones responsible for all the evil were convicted during the Nuremberg Trials immediately after the war.

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But as Radmann increasingly gets into the case with the assistance of journalist Glynke, the scale of what was happening will become clearer to him. They will realize that in the current German institutions there are countless people who were extremely active during Nazism and who potentially committed numerous crimes, but everyone seems to know about it and not get too excited about it. Very soon Radmann will point out Josef Mengele, a surgeon who performed monstrous experiments on humans in the camps, as his main target, but it will become clear to him that in Germany itself there is no interest in prosecuting such events. This historical drama, which was also a German Oscar nominee (without nomination), deals with an extremely controversial and sensitive topic, and although screenwriter / director Giulio Ricciarelli did not dig into something particularly deep, “Labyrinth of Lies” Original title: Im Labyrinth des Schweigens, was still interesting, dynamic and shocking. and a shocking film.

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Even today we can see that every now and then in Germany some centenarians are taken out and brought to trial because eighty years ago they were camp guards and today there is officially zero tolerance for everything related to crimes committed in World War II by them. But that’s why this film shows great that it wasn’t always like that. We see very well how the German post-war society breathed and how, immediately after the war, many of those who committed crimes and who were active Nazis integrated into the new democratic society. The main mantra for everyone was we did only what we were ordered to do, we continued to live as if nothing had happened, and many of them very quickly became respected and esteemed members of society.

It is interesting that the film “The People Against Fritz Bauer”, a man who is only a supporting character and superior to the young Radmann, was made almost simultaneously in Germany. But in reality, it was Bauer who, after a decade of silence and unwilling to interfere in politics, resolutely prosecuted those lower-ranking Nazis who tried to “drown” in modern German society because he logically believed that all those who they committed crimes for them had to answer. Although there was potential in the Labyrinth of Lies to immerse oneself in a deeper psychological drama because at some point the young prosecutor would realize the scale of these Nazi horrors and how many seemingly honest and tame Germans were involved today, Ricciarelli decided to stick to it. of the Hollywood canons in terms of dramatization, but still this was more than a good film. Rating 8/10.

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