Action / Biography / Crime / Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 12248


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April 03, 2015 at 07:37 AM



Sebastian Koch as Höss
Mathieu Kassovitz as Riccardo Fontana
Ulrich Mühe as Doctor
Marcel Iures as Pope
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877.12 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 12 min
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23.976 fps
2hr 12 min
P/S 2 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by fy_nesh 1 / 10

Shmaless lies

1 million Jews were saved by the church efforts from the Nazis and certain death,meaning about 10 million Living today Jews owe their lives to the church, yet the hatred and the lies towards the church is reaching historical proportions....this happened before you see, two thousand years ago a humble carpenter embarked on a three years journey in which he healed the sick, resurrected the dead, pardoned the sinners and gave hope to the crushed masses, he too was slandered, hated and finally crucified while baring no sin or wrong doing, and today his church suffers the same fate.....but do remember that his death was his greatest victory as he rose from the dead and became more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined, so will his church and body rise again and all those who try to build a world without God will be crushed by the weight of their sins

Reviewed by Victoria Weisfeld 7 / 10

Why the Vatican Was Silent about the Nazis & the Jews?

Amen., Costa-Gavras's 2002 movie about the role of The Vatican in World War II was certain to be controversial, as opinions are strongly felt, relevant information is still secreted in Vatican archives, and the movie is based on a controversial play, The Deputy, by an erratic German playwright, Rolf Hochhuth. (The movie promotion, exemplified by the poster combining a cross and the swastika, offended many, as well.) Most interesting is the portrayal of an SS officer hired to help "control vermin" at military bases—typhus was a big problem—using deadly Zyklon B gas. At a concentration camp, he witnesses the gas being used against people and is so horrified, he makes many efforts to bring religious leaders' attention to the carnage, believing that if they would only speak out, the horror will stop. He befriends a (fictional) young Jesuit who joins his crusade and takes these concerns all the way to Pope Pius XII. In real life, and improbably, such an SS officer did exist. Kurt Gerstein was thrown out of the Nazi party in the 1930s, yet allowed to join the SS in 1941 and, because of his engineering and medical education, soon became head of the Technical Disinfection Services. In custody after the war, he wrote lengthy testimony about the death camps that became prominent evidence in subsequent war crimes trials, including at Nuremberg. Gerstein died in French custody in 1945, reportedly by suicide. His story is included in Europe Central, a National Book Award-winning novel by William T. Vollman. Throughout the period, the Pope's pronouncements were consistently anti-war, but vague. In the movie, he doesn't speak out about the Jews, specifically, for a number of reasons: The Vatican's neutrality (the Allies and the Nazis both criticized it for favoring the other side); fear that Church properties in Germany would be seized, or The Vatican itself invaded; and concern that opposition to Germany would give support to the atheistic Soviets, with communism deemed the greater long-term threat to the Church. Despite all this, many individual clergy and religious moved to protect threatened individuals, and the Pope himself quietly urged Catholic churches, convents, and other facilities to take in Jews, and the movie includes this. Amen. makes for interesting viewing, and perhaps we will never know the full story. As a side-note, I learned about this movie when visiting Romania last year. Because filming inside The Vatican was not allowed, the movie Vatican was the enormous, surreally empty "People's Palace" in Bucharest.

Reviewed by don2507 8 / 10

Moral Indifference, Moral Complicity, or Pragmatic Accommodation?

"Amen" is an engrossing film about the holocaust that was getting under way in Europe during WW II and the responses, as I see it, of four men: two SS officers and two members of the Catholic clergy, a priest and the Pope himself, Pius XII. The SS officer who is a chemist has been working on water purification for the German Army and the SS co-opts his knowledge to implement their "final solution". The other SS officer is an amoral cynic whose evil is made even worse by the fact that he carries out his heinous "work" without believing in much of the Nazi ideology. The SS chemist is truly shocked by how his knowledge is being applied in the death camps, and his moral earnestness is often contrasted with the cynicism and "survivor mentality" of his SS colleague. (The SS chemist is truly revolted when he gets his first look at how Zyklon B is used through a peephole into a "shower room". One may well ask what's a fellow of normal moral sensitivity doing in the SS, but he's a legitimate historical character who has left behind much documentation.) The SS chemist, although a non-Catholic, believes in the moral influence of the Catholic church and so informs a Catholic priest, and much of the latter part of the film depicts the priest trying to influence the Pope, when he can get an audience, to speak out publicly and uncompromisingly to the world about the ongoing Nazi genocide of European Jews.

Why the Catholic church? The film essentially begins with Nazi doctors selecting German "mental defectives" for extermination, and how this euthanasia "program" was halted by the angry response of the German churches, most critically the Catholic church. They spoke loudly and clearly from their pulpits and the program was halted but not until over 70,000 helpless human beings were killed. The juxtaposition of this incident with the seeming failure of Pius XII, after numerous appeals by the priest, to speak out unambiguously about the Nazi genocide is the focal point of the film. The pope does make a much-anticipated Christmas Eve speech but its content is so watered-down and ambiguous that we're not sure that he's beseeching both sides to refrain from barbaric acts. There's no question that the director has taken a critical, perhaps hostile, view of Pius XII and the Vatican in his film of their response to the holocaust. The terror implied in the succession of freight trains headed for the extermination camps is contrasted with the pomp and finery of the "papal court", the refined and "diplomatic" discussions on the Jews' fate, and the seeming resulting indifference. A Catholic film-goer who believes papal doctrinal infallibility somehow conveys moral incorruptibility will be deeply offended by the film's depiction of Pius XII, but a Catholic film-goer who believes a papacy may be occupied by fallible humans like the rest of us would find this film, as I did, absorbing.

What could Pius XII have done? I have read up on him after viewing this film and have discovered that he allowed Catholic monasteries and churches to shelter Jews throughout the war. He was a pragmatic man and a diplomat, and thought speaking out might jeopardize the lives of the Jews that he was sheltering. It seems to me, however, that given his awareness of such a monstrous crime as the holocaust, an uncompromising accusation of Nazi barbarism from the diplomatic and pragmatic Pius XII would have provided as much "moral clarity" as the German bishops did in their rebuke of the Nazi euthanasia program. Stalin once denigrated the influence of the Pope by asking "how many divisions does the Pope have?", but we'll never know whether his moral influence, if conveyed clearly and with fervor, would have galvanized the Allies, and the Soviets, (also complicit in their indifference and inaction) into, say, bombing the rail transport system so crucial to the viability of the "final solution". Even if the practical effects would be minimal, who foremost but the "Vicar of Christ on Earth" should provide moral clarity to the world?

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