Sophie Scholl & The White Rose

“Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct.” So wrote the White Rose, a group of ardent young activists who opposed the reign of fascism in 1940s Germany. I first discovered the writings of The White Rose (Die Weisse Rose) in the early 1980’s, and have since read and re-read their stirring proclamations – which the group clandestinely distributed in public places right under the noses of the Nazis. Eventually the young heroes were caught, and key members of the pacifist group were executed by guillotine after a Nazi court found them guilty of “treason.” Sophie Scholl, one of the group’s leaders, directed her last words at her Nazi executioners, “… your heads will fall as well.”

Director Marc Rothemund tells the gripping story of the last six days of Scholl’s life, in Sophie Scholl: The Final Days. The film opened in New York on February 17th and opens in Los Angeles on February 24th, 2006, with a nationwide release to follow. Not just another period piece on Germany’s disturbing past, this film should have deep resonance for today’s movie fans who are concerned about civil and human rights. Stephen Holden, in a review of the film he wrote for the New York Times, said: “In a climate of national debate in the United States about the overriding of certain civil liberties to fight terrorism, the movie looks back on a worst possible scenario in which such liberties were taken away. It raises an unspoken question: could it happen here?”

For those in Los Angeles, Director Marc Rothemund will conduct a Q&A after the 5:30 pm & 8:15 pm screenings at Laemmle’s MUSIC HALL 3 on Friday Feb. 24th and Saturday‚ Feb. 25th, and also after the 4 pm show & 7 pm show Sunday the 26th at the Laemmle’s TOWN CENTER 5 in Encino (click here for more info on these theaters.)

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