Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Amen (2002)

We started with this point, this passivity. With this man, Stefan Lux at the beginning of the film who shoots a bullet in his head, {Looks like in his heart} in the League of Nations, to warn the world. This happens in 1936 and he doesn't have a clue as to how History will turn out. The members of the League of Nations had a half-hour recess, just to let the doctors take the body away. But the world didn't move.

Amen is based on the 1963 play "The Deputy", written by Rolf Hochhuth, A native German, Hochhuth was deeply concered about the "conspiracy of silence" in the Catholic Church at the time of the Holocaust. SS Commandant Kurt Gerstein was a real person who, while visiting Belzec and Treblinka in August 1942, witnessed the carefully guarded truth about the concentration camps where thousand of Jews were being slaughtered. When Gersein went to the Barican to report his discovery, he found very few priests would listen to him.
Riccardo Fontana is a fictional character created to represent all priests who fought against Nazi Persecution of Jews.
The collective crimes against humanity known as the Holocaust have been well-documented since the end of World War II, but lingering questions remain about how much was known about the Nazi mass-extermination schemes outside Germany, and what could have been done to prevent them. Political filmmaker Costa-Gavras confronts this thorny issue in this film, adapted from the stage drama The Representative and based in part on actual events. Kurt Gerstein (Ulrich Tukar) is a German chemist whose work on various government health projects led to him being added to the scientific staff of the Nazi SS. While working on disinfection and water purification programs to stem the tide of typhoid among German troops, Gerstein creates a toxic cleanser called Zyclon B. Gerstein soon learns that the SS has found a different use for Zyclon B -- in gas form, it is being used to exterminate Jews and other political undesirables en masse. Gerstein, a man of strong Christian faith, is horrified by this revelation, and he is determined to tell the world in hope of stopping the genocide; however, in Germany, Sweden, and the United States, Gerstein's story falls on deaf ears. One man who does believe Gerstein is Riccardo Fontana (Mathieu Kassovitz), a Jesuit with ties to the Vatican and close contact with Pope Pius XII (Marcel Iures). Fontana urges the Pope to speak out against the ongoing massacre, but the Pope declines, believing Russia is a greater menace to the Catholic Church than the Nazis. In time, desperate to spread the word of the holocaust, Gerstein and Fontana find themselves joining ranks with Roman Jews being rounded up by Nazi forces in occupied Italy. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 130 mins
Amen (2002)

Gersein's report contributed to the authentification of the Holocaust.
Kurt Gerstein was rehabilitated 20 years later.
As Kurt talked to the priest he said he was just a Physician and thus the priest said that he could go to Argentina since he was not a Chemist, Biologist or another highly technical field. But the real person was found hanged in his cell in France...

Jan Karski-Polish Resistance met Roosevelt.
Jean Moulin

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