Labyrinth of Lies


Action / Drama / History

IMDb Rating 7.3 10 9822


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Alexander Fehling as Johann Radmann

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 7 / 10

compelling history needs more drama

It's 1958 Frankfurt, West Germany. Johann Radmann is a young by-the-books prosecutor toiling in traffic court and believing his father to be anti-Nazi. Reporter Thomas Gnielka brings the case of Charles Schulz, a teacher suspected of being a Nazi guard in Auschwitz. Nobody cares about what happened there and actively ignores the collective Nazi past. He starts a relationship with Marlene Wondrak. Gnielka introduces him to camp survivor Simon Kirsch. Radmann starts digging into the past and building a case against many. His main obsession is camp doctor Josef Mengele who experimented on the prisoners.

The history is very compelling. However, the story lacks danger or intensity. It needs some additional drama. There is some professional and personal drama but none of it is that intense. The production and acting is first rate. It is a very compelling watch although there are no big surprises.

Reviewed by Hitchcoc 8 / 10

Sometimes We Need to Look Within Ourselves

In 1958, the German people had very little knowledge of the death camps of World War II. A Jew, whose children were experimented upon, demands to be heard but is ignored by the legal system. A young lawyer hears his pleas but doesn't know what he can do. When he proposes action, he is ignored or scolded by those that would be of the most help. He finds a small group of people that are working on the cases in the camps. He wants the big fish, Joseph Mengele, and forgets about those who were in the SS or who acted like savages in the camps. This is about a man who is so driven that he can't come to grips with the idea that most of the country were Nazis, including those close to him. He get very emotional in his all-or-nothing quest and alienates people. He even dismisses the children of Nazis, even if they had nothing to do with anything. He is angry with all of Germany but doesn't ask why this all happened. This is a film about seeing what is most important in our lives--what can be changed and what can't. The ultimate trial proved to be one of the most important in modern history.

Reviewed by Antonia Tejeda Barros 10 / 10

Finally a movie that shows the culpability of the common German people in the Holocaust!

Major Parker (Tim Williams). Originally in German in the movie (the American Major speaks German to Johann Radmann): "You were all Nazis. In the Eastern sector, now you are all communists. Jesus, you Germans! If little green men from Mars landed tomorrow, you would all become green".

Finally a movie that shows the culpability of the common German people in the Holocaust! The Holocaust didn't happen just because of 4 Nazi psychos, but thanks to millions of ordinary men (90% of the Germans from 1940-41) who supported the Nazi ideology and happily collaborated in the massacres of millions of innocent men, women and children. By the way, two books that brilliantly demonstrate the collaboration of the vast and overwhelming majority of Germans in the gigantic Nazi killing machine are Rethinking the Holocaust, by Yehuda Bauer (a masterpiece) and Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, by Daniel Goldhagen.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens shows the fast oblivion in Germany of the atrocities committed by the Germans just 10 years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps, and the impunity millions of murderers enjoyed, people who tortured, massacred and gassed millions of Jews and non-Jews in the 1940s. Only very few Germans heard about Auschwitz before the famous Eichmann trial in 1961.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens focuses on the the period prior to the trials that took place in Frankfurt between December 20, 1963 and August, 1965 (called in German der Auschwitz- Prozess) against very few SS members who operated in Auschwitz. The trials were ridiculous and a spit on the 1,100,000 victims who were massacred and gassed in Auschwitz. From the 7,000 SS members who operated in Auschwitz during the war, only 22 dogs were judged at the Frankfurt Trials. Nevertheless, the attempt for a pinch of justice was important. From the 22 SS members, only 6 got life imprisonment, many got ridiculous sentences ranging from 3 to 10 years, and 5 were simply released.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens shows the extreme difficulty of judging the murderers because of the silence the Germans kept and their attempt to hide the truth.

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens got many prizes (although none were extremely important) and it was the film that Germany presented for the category 'Best Foreign Language Film' (Oscars, 2016), although it was not nominated.

I always believed that the only way Germans (and Austrians) have today to clean the blood their parents and grandparents spilled is to be deeply anti-Nazi. But how many Germans and Austrians are there today who are deeply anti-Nazi?

"Schweigen" is "silence" in German. The correct translation of the title would be: "In the Labyrinth of Silence". In English the title has been poorly translated as Labyrinth of Lies.

The best: the fact that the culpability of the German common pig in the Holocaust finally arouses.

The worst: that even when the film shows Fritz Bauer (the judge who made the Frankfurt Trials possible), the character of Johann Radmann (brilliantly performed by Alexander Fehling) is fictitious.

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