I saw a movie last Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art that I need to talk about.
It is Sophie Scholl: The Last Days.
This Academy Award-nominated German language film (with English subtitles), I think may be the most powerful, compelling and thoughtful movie that I have ever seen.
The story line is simple…
The true story of Germany’s most famous anti-Nazi heroine is brought to thrilling life in the multi-award winning drama SOPHIE SCHOLL-THE FINAL DAYS. Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film of 2005, SOPHIE SCHOLL stars Julia Jentsch in a luminous performance as the young coed-turned-fearless activist. Armed with long-buried historical records of her incarceration, director Marc Rothemund expertly re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl’s life: a heart-stopping journey from arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence.
In 1943, as Hitler continues to wage war across Europe, a group of college students mount an underground resistance movement in Munich. Dedicated expressly to the downfall of the monolithic Third Reich war machine, they call themselves the White Rose. One of its few female members, Sophie Scholl is captured during a dangerous mission to distribute pamphlets on campus with her brother Hans. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to the White Rose, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless. . .
The movie itself shook me hard. I’m an emotional person and expected this to be a hard movie to watch but I had no idea what it would do to me. It awakened my faith (this was a key part of Sophie’s story, in that it was in larger part her Christian faith that led her to question and in the end speak out against the Nazis), but also reminded me that there comes a point in every person’s life in which they must do what is right no matter what the consequences are.
I think part of what drew me into this story was how human and real, the portrayal of Sophie was, everything from her fear, to her boldness, to her love for her family and fiance, for everything. She was fully human, and yet in the end she chose to take the ultimate stand for what is right and good and from God.
As far as my own response to the movie, it has made me reexamine some of the compromises I’ve made with my own conscience. I still don’t know what I will do about some of the big dilemnas (i.e. will I refuse to pay income tax next year?) but I know I can’t let myself off the hook too easily. If Sophie could stand up for what is right in a far more repressive situation, then I would be a coward to not do what is right in my time and place.
Here are some more links about Sophie’s story…
The White Rose a website about The White Rose that includes copies of the flyers distributed by the group
Anyway, there’s so much more I could say but I don’t want to ruin the movie for those who haven’t seen it yet. Unfortunately OKCMOA is done showing it, but here’s a list of other theatres in Oklahoma and Texas that are showing it (I plan to drive to Tulsa to see it when it is there next… it is that good).
Circle Cinema Tulsa May 19-25
Dobie Theatre Austin Starts May 19
Inwood Theatre Dallas Now Playing
Angelika Film Center Houston Starts April 28