New York Times - 05/27/2005
"[A] somber, thought-provoking new film....THE NINTH DAY succeeds in illuminating an almost unimaginably dark story."
Noted German director Volker Schlondorff's (THE TIN DRUM) highly compelling THE NINTH DAY provides a unique examination of historical events that took place during the Holocaust. Interned at the Dachau concentration camp near Munich in 1942 for anti-Nazi activities, Henri Kremer (Ulrich Matthes), an influential Luxembourg priest, endures terrible hardships along with thousands of his clergymen. Mysteriously, Kremer is released and sent back home to his family in Luxembourg for nine days. Upon his return, the local up-and-coming SS chief, Gebhardt (August Diehl) charges Kremer with a difficult assignment: convince the Bishop of Luxembourg to sign an agreement with the Nazis, thereby providing an integral link between Hitler in Berlin and the Pope in the Vatican. These scenes between the young, eager Gebhardt and the older, stoic Kremer simmer with friction and meaningful import. The great challenge is that the Bishop, like Kremer, opposes Nazi racial doctrine. Failure to execute within nine days means a return to Dachau for Kremer and the endangerment of the lives of his family and fellow clergyman at the camp. However, while success provides assured safety for all those people, it also would represent the ultimate corruption of his own faith. Based loosely on the memoirs of Jean Bernard, a real Catholic priest, THE NINTH DAY is a complex and thought-provoking film.
Nazi Germany |