153 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning film
Stars Julia Jensch ["The Edukators"/"Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei"]. This was the Oscar nomination for Germany for 2006. A marvellously filmed and acted portrayal of Sophie Scholl and her involvement in "Die weiße Rose" -the movement that tried to incite the German people against Nazi atrocities by distributing leaflets. Sophie, then 21 years old, is captured [after...
Published on 19 Nov 2006 by A. G. Booty
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 4:3 Aspect ratio spoils enjoyment on flatscreen TV's
Whilst an incredible movie which I enjoyed thoroughly, I was disappointed to find that this version is in 4:3 letterbox form which only uses about half of my widescreen TV's screen space.Thus detail is lost, and reading the subtitles is made more difficult.
A version marketed by Zeitgeist in the USA is sold in 16:9 format which will make the film more enjoyable...
Published on 31 Oct 2009 by Johnno
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153 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning film,
Julia Jentsch excels in the role of the only female member of the group, passionately fighting against horrific injustice. The second stage of the film involves gripping, interrogation and defence argument with marvellous, believable performances. Contrary to a couple of other reviewers here, I found the film evoked a great deal of tension. It led the viewer one way, then another; then there is the dramatic and powerful trial scene and the moving and shocking build up to the end.
This is the action of debate [the scenes in the film were also shot chronologically]and the whole is now movingly, now unnervingly underscored by the specially composed music of Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek.
The German film industry is in a "Blütezeit" - a blossoming time - with lots of very good, unusual work being produced. Perhaps this film was a little ponderous for Hollywood tastes, as it did not win [though I read that a Hollywood version is going to be made with Christina Ricci in the role of Sophie]. We shall see how Germany fares this coming February with the excellent "Das Leben der Anderen" [out on German DVD, not yet in this country -"The Life of the Others" - a love story/political thriller set in the former GDR].
PS - For the reviewer that wanted the film without English subtitles: remember you can get the German DVD from amazon.de
126 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You will all be soon standing where I'm standing",
Director Marc Rothemund and screenwriter Fred Breinersdorfer based this film on new interviews with friends and relatives and the never-before-released records of Scholl's Gestapo interrogation. But it is Jentsch's powerful portrayal of the willful Sophie that effectively anchors this film and in turn gives it so much power.
Certainly student dissent is not something that we think of in Nazi Germany, but dissent they did. Set in 1943 Munich Sophie Scholl is about a group of single-minded university students and some other members of what was called the White Rose, who secretly write, print and distribute leaflets condemning the war, which they rightly predict will bring their nation to its knees Of course, these kids are taking a big risk, and they do so at a horrible price.
While furtively placing leaflets outside classrooms at the University of Munich, the activists are spotted by a janitor who turns them in. Soon Sophie (Julia Jentsch), brother Hans (Fabian Hinrichs) and friend Christoph (Florian Stetter) face the Gestapo, a harsh judge, a trial that is so biased its a joke and finally, the threat of quick execution.
Whilst obviously their fate is no secret, the impact of the film comes from the steady interrogation that takes place between Sophie and her inquisitor - criminologist Robert Mohr (Alexander Held) who, while loyal to Nazism, understands and even respects its refutation by a young woman he considers a misguided idealist.
Instead of torturing her, he argues with her, offering a way out during powerful, sustained scenes of bitterly divided discourse. Through it all, Jentsch is a beacon of bravery and resolve in the darkness of a totalitarian machine and we certainly get glimpses of what makes Jentsch's performance so strong. Both fear and defiant bravery live simultaneously on Scholl's face; we can see her strength as well as her terror, her resolve as well as her qualms.
At first, Sophie thinks she's got away with it and then she hasn't, then she shares a cell with a fellow inmate who works for the Nazis. But as the fascist machine beats her into a corner, we see a girl who will not sell her convictions out, and will go to her death believing that what she feels - and even predicts - is right.
The incredible power of this film actually come ion the quieter moments as when Sophie shares a quick cigarette with her colleagues, when she prays to a higher power, spends tender moments with her devastated parents or stares longingly at sun-kissed clouds through the bars of her cell.
There's nothing gimmicky or melodramatic or over-blown about this movie, everything is just so beautifully layered and with Rothemund's deft camerawork never straying far from Sophie's expressive face, especially in the second half of the movie. Somehow, her very ordinariness lends the film an honesty that renders her fate all the more devastating.
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days is a noble effort to tell of one of the bleakest periods in human history, where this regime slaughtered millions of innocent and talented people. For those of us with a social conscience and who are interested in viewing one of the great moments of history, this film of this brave and resolute tragic girl is compulsory viewing. Mike Leonard November 06.
91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and harrowing,
Whilst slightly harrowing and very emotional, this film leaves a definate imprint in your mind, reminding you how even in darkness, some had the will to shine out for others.
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent but emotionally gruelling,
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting interrogation of German anti Hitler activist.,
This review is from: Sophie Scholl [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)Sophie Scholl [Blu-ray] 
Sophie Scholl (Julia Jentsch) was a member of a non militant activist group in 1943 Munich writing and distributing anti Hitler leaflets.
Very soon these naïve youngsters were captured by the Gestapo and the film is centred entirely on Sophie and her interrogation by Robert Mohr (Gerald Alexander).
Taken from the transcripts of the interrogations this is absolutely riveting, and must have required extraordinary concentration from the actors.
The manic prosecutor at the trial Roland Freisler (Andre Hernnicke) is incredibly similar to the short historical clip of the real Freisler in the extensive extra features.
Nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film in 2006, plus winning a number of other awards, Director Marc Rothemond provides a master class in slow burn suspense.
A WWll film to cherish.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The White Rose,
This review is from: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)The White Rose was a World War II non-violent resistance group in Germany famous for a leaflet campaign in which they called for active opposition to the Nazi regime. The group initially consisted of five students, all in their early twenties at Munich University. Between June 1942 and February 1943, they prepared and distributed six different leaflets, in which they called for an end to Nazi oppression and tyranny through active opposition of the German people. Hans Scholl, played by Fabian Hinrichs, and his sister Sophie led the rest of the group, including Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell and Willi Graf. A professor, Kurt Huber, who drafted the final two leaflets, joined them. All six members of this group were arrested, tried, convicted and executed by beheading. The Gestapo found a seventh leaflet in possession of the students at the time of their arrest. All three were noted for the courage with which they faced their deaths, particularly Sophie, who remained firm despite intense interrogation, and said to head judge of the court Freisler during the trial, "You know as well as we do that the war is lost. Why are you so cowardly that you won't admit it?"
This movie as mentioned has paid scrupulous attention to historical detail and focused on the end days. The only liberty taken was the compression of the interrogation and trial to three days and of course a couple of undocumented conversation, like when Sophie speaks prays with a priest before here death. Starting with the evening before they distributed the leaflet that would cause their arrest. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days proves to be both thrillingly suspenseful and emotionally devastating without having to go far behind the recorded historical facts
What I find interesting is that all the men of the white Rose were war veterans who had fought in France and the Eastern fronts. So they saw what was transpiring first hand. Sophie played by Julia Jentsch, had completed her Labor force duties, had joined here brother at university and is the heroine of this story. She tried to take sole responsibility once the Gestapo and proved she was responsible in an effort to protect others. They were trying to urge the reader of the leaflet to "Support the resistance movement!" in the struggle for "Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary action of criminal dictator-states". Principles that are the foundations of Europe today.
One final note, I have seen the clips of the actually trial that Gobels filmed and Freisler was played brilliantly by Andre Hennicke, Julia Jentsch is great as Sophie as is Gerald Alexander Held as Investigator Mohr. This is a must see film. Not only for its historical significance but also for the example of an example of a Christian with a moral vision and strength in dire circumstance. This movie illustrates what real courage and heroism are all about. Today, there are many memorials of the White Rose throughout Munich and their story is known to every German. The White Rose may have been silenced too early but their words echo on..."Freedom".
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Film,
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent film in its own right.,
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julia Jentsch delivers an oscar-worthy performance in Marc Rothemund's shining tribute to 'The White Rose',
The story is simple enough. Sophie and her brother Hans were active and committed supporters of `Die weisse Rose' and took a risk in distributing stacks of anti-Nazi leaflets in Munich University early one morning in February 1943 (for historical reference, this was immediately following the destruction of the German 6th Army in the Stalingrad pocket and the loss of 300,000 men, when it started to become obvious to thinking Germans that they might be doomed to lose the war and face possible annihilation as a nation). The Scholls are caught and arrested by the Gestapo, and the remaining screen-time presents a gripping edge-of-the-seat drama of Sophie's interrogation by Investigator Robert Mohr (played to chilling perfection by Gerald Alexander Held) and subsequent public show-trial.
Fred Breinersdorfer's screenplay is theatrical rather than overtly cinematic, and the intelligent dialogue-based script might also work well in the theatre. What shines most in the film is the steadfast and courageous character of Sophie - her brother too, but the story focuses on Sophie's lengthy moral and philosophical interchanges with Mohr. These dialogues are deep and thoughtful, and convey very effectively the universal dilemma of how much one might choose to compromise personal moral convictions when living under a regime which one sees as irredeemably evil and dangerous: keep a low profile and survive, or stand up for what you believe? Sophie ultimately wins all the arguments with Mohr, who perceives her as well-intentioned but misguided, and good material for a Nazi `re-education' centre. She however refuses to compromise, and the result is a show trial of the leading members of `Die weisse Rose' - one of the film's key scenes and brilliantly reconstructed - culminating (this is not a spoiler, it's the well-known history of this case) in rapid executions.
The history of Sophie and Hans Scholl is very well known in Germany and deserves to be better known throughout the world. The film is absolutely riveting and in every way brilliant: don't be put off by the German dialogue and subtitling, you'll be glad you saw it and it will stay in your memory.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most chilling factual film I've seen.....,
The film is two hours long but wastes absolutely no time. It comes right in with a bang from the very beginning and had me sitting on the edge of my chair from start to finish....then left me in floods of tears.
Anyone who manages to get through this film without shedding tears either has a heart of granite...or no heart at all.
The film portrays the whole horrific events with such convincing realism, at times you feel almost as though you are 'there'. Little wonder that it is an award winning film and the name Sophie Scholl, known throughout Germany today. Before it was made, I wondered just how many people in Germany may have known about her. Now, thanks to the film and book, she will NEVER be forgotten.
And neither will you forget after you have watched it.
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Sophie Scholl - The Final Days (Special 2 disc Edition)  [DVD] by Marc Rothemund (DVD - 2009)