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Die Weisse Rose (The White Rose), 1982
White Rose

Set in Munich in 1942, the film is true story of a group of college students at the University of Munich who form a resistance group called the White Rose. The film makes the point that many German citizens were opposed to the Nazis, but were too terrorized to do anything about them, and shows the heavy-handed censorship and control the Nazis exercised over the German people. The students published and distributed anti-Nazi fliers, recruiting others within the German armed forces and the university community to resist as well.

Werner Stocker has a very sympathetic role as Christoph Probst, a young father with a wife and three children who was involved with the White Rose group and paid the ultimate price with the others when they were captured. It is not a particularly large part, but once again, he demonstrates his considerable acting ability. I think everyone who has seen him in Highlander will recognize in this film the same intensity and presence he brought to the role of Darius, although he was much younger when he made this film, and plays a completely different sort of character. There are some very tender short scenes with the wife and kids.

I would recommend this film even if Werner were not in it. It's very moving and suspenseful, and the other actors are also excellent, particularly Lena Stolze and Wulf Kessler, who play the brother and sister Sophie and Hans Scholl, and Martin Benrath, who plays Professor Huber. It was directed by Michael Verhoeven (who also directed The Nasty Girl). When the film was first released, it was banned in Germany, but there was such a public uproar that the ban was lifted.

The film is still available on VHS (in German with English subtitles), and a new edition of it has just come out. Rental copies are often difficult to find at video stores, but some universities have it, and you can even rent it on the web at Germanvideo.com. (They also have Percy Adlon's The Last Five Days, another moving film about Sophie Scholl's final days in prison, again starring Lena Stolze). New copies can be purchased online at Amazon.com and other places, but the price is still very high. Used rental copies sometimes show up on E-bay for a good deal less.


This review is Copyright ©1998 by tirnanog and may not be reproduced without permission.

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(This page last updated 05/15/2004)


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