Set in Germany in 1946, this thoughtful political drama is based on the true story of Dr Wilhelm Furtwängler (played here by Stellan Skarsgård), Germany's leading conductor and head of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra during World War 2. Following the end of the war and the collapse of the Third Reich, the allied forces are intent on imposing law and order on a bombed-out occupied Berlin, and are keen to set an example by being seen to prosecute an eminent public figure for Nazi collaboration. US Major Steve Arnold (Harvey Keitel) is sent, disguised as an insurance salesman, to investigate the strong and complex connections between Furtwängler and the Nazi regime. But to his dismay, nothing is as simple as he had hoped it would be, and his desire for a swift and ruthless prosecution is thwarted by the complex web of loyalties and politics in which he finds himself increasingly entangled.
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Documentary, Featurette, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Istvan Szabo's film Taking Sides - based on true events - recreates the suspenseful post-World War II interrogation of Dr Wilhelm Furtwangler (Stellan Skarsgard), the brilliant conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, who is considered by some to have been the most brilliant conductor of the 20th century. In the course of his de-Nazification by the Allies, Furtwangler is forced by a tough-talking American Major (Harvey Keitel) to re-examine his role during the Third Reich in the most uncompromising of terms. The confrontation between the soft-spoken cultural icon of the old world and the rough, emotional hard-hitter from the new world, makes for some electrifying verbal pyrotechnics, and brings the role of the artist in an evil regime into the limelight, to be examined along with all the other moral issues and ambiguities emerging from World War II. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: European Film Awards, ...Taking Sides ( Le cas Furtwängler ) ( Der Fall Furtwängler )