|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 123 Min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Frankfurt in 1958: Germany is flourishing right now due to reconstruction and the economic miracle. No one wants to be reminded of the horrors of the Second World War. Instead, people's lives are determined by their flight into the world of healing films and cheerful dance music. But the past can't just be kept quiet and laughed away. The young public prosecutor Johann Radmann (Alexander Fehling) realizes this when he learns from the journalist Thomas Gnielka (André Szymanski) that a former Auschwitz supervisor is now teaching small children as a teacher. However, no one wants to record the report of a survivor who has recognized one of his tormentors in the teacher. Only Radmann takes up the investigations against the will of his superiors and quickly ejects an almost impenetrable network of repression and denial. But Radmann doesn't admit defeat so quickly. Together with Gnielka, he wants to gather enough evidence for an indictment and thus make the crimes of Auschwitz public. In return, he is even prepared to take paths that could harm colleagues, friends or even his young love for Marlene Wondrak (Friederike Becht). Radmann must decide whether he is prepared to pay such a high price for a truth that could change Germany forever…
For his feature film debut as a director, actor and filmmaker Giulio Ricciarelli has chosen one of the most important chapters of the German post-war years. In "Im Labyrinth des Schweigens" he traces the difficult path from the first investigation to the beginning of the first Auschwitz trial. Ricciarelli was not interested in shifting history lessons from the classroom to the cinema. This would have been justified in so far as the Auschwitz Trials, in contrast to the Nuremberg Trials, are no longer known to most young people today. But it was precisely because this was such an important topic that Ricciarelli wanted to draw the attention of as wide an audience as possible to, that he didn't want to lose sight of the entertainment value of his film.
And in fact he succeeded in doing what many German filmmakers too often don't even try to do: to implement a serious topic in an entertaining way. Based on true events that were researched in detail with the help of the historian Werner Renz from the Fritz Bauer Institute, Giulio Ricciarelli has staged a gripping mixture of political thriller and judicial drama, in which not only the historical background, but also the protagonists and their story are extremely exciting. Johann Radmann in particular, whose first enthusiasm as a young public prosecutor to want to achieve something more than just work through traffic offences, is turning more and more into a kind of obsessive fight for truth and against oblivion, is an extremely interesting character. The transformation he undergoes during the course of the film brings Alexander Fehling to the screen in a very believable way.
His portrayal is interesting in that he approaches the horror of Auschwitz for the second time after "Am Ende kommen Touristen" from the point of view of an ignorant person, whereby the characters he plays in these films couldn't be more different at the beginning. Fehling's great performance is supported by no less convincing performances by André Szymanski, Johann von Bülow, Friederike Becht and Gert Voss, who unfortunately died in July. And also the first-class work of set design, costumes, camera and music make "In the Labyrinth of Silence" such a thrilling and important movie, which deserves to attract as many viewers as possible to the cinemas, especially but not only because of its theme.
The director and actors also received support from Gerhard Wiese, a public prosecutor involved in the Auschwitz trial, who not only served as an advisor on the set, but was also allowed to play a small guest role in the film. At the premiere of the film in Frankfurt, Wiese not only emphasized the excellent cooperation with the entire team, but was also extremely impressed by the final result. No wonder, because "In the Labyrinth of Silence" is a really good film, which manages to combine entertainment and ambition into a captivating whole. And for that there is a very clear one: Absolutely worth seeing!
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