Holocaust Remorse: Giulio Ricciarelli on the Making of 'Labyrinth of Lies' | HuffPost
Alexander Fehling in “Labyrinth of Lies,” Germany's entry in the “But actually, after the end of World War II, there was an attempt to. The side story in “Labyrinth of Lies” involves Johann and a pretty young seamstress, This relationship, while it is meant to show Johans's sensitive side, is a. Labyrinth of Lies, a new Holocaust-themed movie, the German entry for the Foreign What is the basis of the story of Labyrinth of Lies?.
The first chink in the wall of denial was the so-called Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials, from toin which the German government prosecuted 22 people who helped run the death camp.
The stubborn truth-seeker here is the young German lawyer Johann Radmann — a composite of three of the real-life prosecutors in the trials — who has just been hired as a junior prosecutor by the attorney general for the German state of Hesse.
‘Labyrinth of Lies’ explores Holocaust denial in post-war Germany | The Times of Israel
He perks up when an investigative journalist tells him that a former SS concentration camp guard now works as a gym teacher in a local high school.
Such an appointment is against the law, but nobody wants to bother checking out the case. Sony Pictures Classics As a Jew and a socialist, Bauer himself spent some months in a concentration camp when the Nazis came to power, then went abroad and returned after the war. He tells his naive young colleague that the entire German civil service is replete with former ardent Nazis, but it would be an impossible job to bring them to justice.
However, Radmann keeps digging for bigger game than the teacher. Seventeen were convicted, and those who could be shown to have killed at Auschwitz on their own initiative as opposed to following orders were given life sentences.
Holocaust Remorse: Giulio Ricciarelli on the Making of 'Labyrinth of Lies'
Thus, we might ask why Bauer is not the hero of this story, rather than Radmann, who never existed. The answer is perhaps not as sinister as it might seem.
Radmann may be an amalgam of the two young prosecutors mentioned above, and the film is about one man's progression from utter ignorance of his country's Nazi past to the point where he discovers too much, almost succumbing to the burden.
At the point late in the film where Radmann is wandering drunk in the streets asking random strangers, "Were you a Nazi? The filmmaker intends a much bigger indictment than those few eventually put to trial.
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And yet, Radmann and his co-prosecutor Otto Haller Johann von Bulowfind the scale of their task unmanageable. Whereupon Bauer offers one of many pillars of wisdom weighing down his part of the script: Otherwise they would have to indict the other SS personnel who went through Auschwitz, not to mention the other camps. It's clear that the Italian director Giulio Ricciarelli, whose first feature this is, sees Bauer as the film's spiritual centre.
Given the statutes of limitation for lesser crimes, he can prosecute only those who can be charged with murder.
This, however, does not prove to be an insurmountable restriction. On one level, it is a coming-of-age story, with Radmann becoming indelibly marked by the education he receives from the testimony of eyewitnesses. To their credit, however, Ricciarelli and Bartel do not exploit the real-life horrors by turning them into character-building object lessons.
But the audience sees only the faces of the pained but resolute witnesses, and hears not their words but elegiac music. But this tantalizing ambiguity is one of a few welcome elements that add complexity to an otherwise straightforward, even old-fashioned melodrama. Predictably, Radmann comes to neglect his lovely girlfriend, Marlene Friederike Bechtduring his crusade.