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In World War II, after a period living hell on earth in the concentration camp of Dachau with other catholic priests, Father Abbé Henri Kremer gets a nine days leave to return to his home town for his mother's funeral. Along this period, the SS Gestapo lieutenant Gebhardt tries to persuade Henri, who was born in silver-spoon and member of an influent Luxembourgian family, to convince the local bishop to give-up resisting to the Germans and write a letter to the Vatican in the name of the Catholic Church of Luxemburg convincing the Pope to support Hitler and the Nazi regime. The ambivalent Henri questions himself and the bishop what he shall do. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
While the priest was in the Gestapo agent's office the agent pointed out a Russian religious icon, which he said he obtained in Moscow. The Nazis were very close to Moscow, but never were in that city. See more »
"The Ninth Day" is one of Volker Schlondorff's finest directorial feats. It covers an episode of the Nazi concentration Camp of Dachau in which there was a lesser known group of Catholic priests who were incarcerated and half of them exterminated by the oppressive regime that had enveloped Germany in the 30's and 40's during WW II. It particularly revolves around a priest from Luxemburg, Father Henri Kremer, who is released for a nine day period from the camp in order to develop positive relationships between the Bishop of Luxemburg and the Pope and Adolph Hitler's Nazi goals of extermination of specific groups of peoples. Ulrich Matthes plays Henri Kremer and he is very convincing in his strength of faith and love of family in his struggle to accomplish what he has been requested by the Gestapo to do. August Diehl is brilliant in his portrayal of Unterstumfuhrer Gebhardt, the demanding and ruthless Gestapo leader who degrades and tortures his victims to the nth degree. The cruel treatment and crucifixions of the priests is difficult to watch, yet this is a true recollection of events documented by the writer of the book by the same name. He was one of the few Catholic priest survivors of the camp. This film was released in 2004, and it is now on DVD and well worth the viewing for an historical standpoint with a different twist.
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