Picks and Pans Review: Sophie Scholl—The Final Days

UPDATED 02/27/2006 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/27/2006 at 01:00 AM EST

Julia Jentsch, Alexander Held
TRUE STORY

In 1942 and 1943, a small group of German college students, calling themselves the White Rose, covertly distributed a series of pamphlets denouncing the Nazis. It was a dangerous act of high treason. This German-language movie, which has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, recounts in a straightforward but compelling manner what happened to several of them upon their arrest by the authorities in 1943. The film's main focus is Sophie Scholl (Jentsch, in an appealingly unshowy performance), a 21-year-old student at the University of Munich who, though once a member of a Hitler youth group, had come to despise the Nazi dictatorship. Her bravery in the face of arrest and her unwavering commitment to freedom have the power to inspire still. (Not rated)

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