John Halder, a German literature professor in the 1930s, is initially reluctant to accept the ideas of the Nazi Party. He is pulled in different emotional directions by his wife, mother, mistress and Jewish friend.
Algeria, 1954. Two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee across the Atlas mountains. Daru, the reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder.
Ivan, a 36-year old ex-rock singer and a disillusioned war veteran who lost both legs in the recent Croatian Homeland War, discovers a dark family secret, which fundamentally changes his life he now wants to end.
Arsen A. Ostojic
In order to recover the body of her son lost during the war in Bosnia, a grieving, but strong-willed Muslim woman, Halima, must track down her estranged niece, who we find carries a mysterious connection to him.
John Halder is a 'good' and decent individual with family problems: a neurotic wife, two demanding children and a mother suffering from senile dementia. A literary professor, Halder explores his personal circumstances in a novel advocating compassionate euthanasia. When the book is unexpectedly enlisted by powerful political figures in support of government propaganda, Halder finds his career rising in an optimistic current of nationalism and prosperity. Seemingly inconsequential decisions lead to choices, which lead to more choices... with eventually devastating effect.Written by
The music played at the end by the Jewish prisoners is Gustav Mahler's first symphony, third movement. This movement uses as one of its themes a parody of the popular children song "Frère Jacques", and the whole symphony borrows heavily from one of Mahler's song cycles, Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen. The last song, "Die zwei blauen Augen" (The two blue eyes) can be heard sometimes during the movie, as in the end of the movie shoot and as part of the symphony's movement being played. See more »
When Goebbels congratulates Halder at the filming of Halder's movie, he walks normally and very jovially. Real Goebbels had a deformed right foot, turned inwards and shorter than the left, needing a metal brace on his leg. Therefore, he walked with a pronounced limp, never with the energy and agility he shown in the film. See more »
[Halder eats the cheesecake that Maurice gave him]
Where are you going to get proper Jewish cheesecake when you've locked up all the Jews, eh? Unless you give a special dispensation to Epstein's.
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Greetings again from the darkness. The film has the look and feel of a something very important and memorable. Instead, it leaves the viewer feeling quite unsatisfied and actually a bit annoyed.
While a big fan of Viggo Mortensen, this is the first time I felt him over-acting, trying so hard to carry weak material to another level. His character is confused through much of the film, but it appears the actor himself was even more confused over how to create something from this mess. He is not helped by director Vicente Amorin, who is solid with individual shots, but haphazard with continuity and visual story telling.
Jason Isaacs, Jodie Whittaker (Venus) and the always super-cool Mark Strong provide support for the film and prevent it from being a total waste, but none of the material is strong enough to get the film to the level it portends.
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