Athlone Film Club’s season continues on Tuesday, October 25, from 8pm with Labyrinth of Lies.
The film tells the story of a principled young prosecutor in post-WWII Germany who uncovers inconvenient truths about his country’s recent past.
Actor turned feature filmmaker, Giulio Ricciarelli, and co-scripter, Elisabeth Bartel, illuminate a relatively obscure chapter of German history - the campaign to identify, locate, and bring to trial Germans who had actively facilitated the Final Solution at Auschwitz but remained unpunished long after the war ended.
Alexander Fehling (Inglourious Basterds ) evinces an effective mix of naivete, idealism, and implacable dedication — along with flashes of self-righteousness, and bottled-up rage – in the lead role of Johann Radmann, a composite of three real-life prosecutors who participated in the 1963-65 Frankfurt Auschwitz trials.
Radmann’s curiosity is piqued during a brief encounter with Thomas Gneilka (Andre Szymanski ), a gadfly journalist seeking justice for his artist friend Simon Kirsch (Johannes Krisch ), an Auschwitz survivor who recently spotted one of his wartime tormentors teaching at a local school.
However, no police official wants to accept a complaint against the schoolteacher and nobody at the prosecutor’s office wants to file a charge. It takes only a few more inquiries for Radmann to realize that this is not an isolated case. He finds evidence that thousands of former Nazis simply returned to their everyday lives following the war. Radmann gets the opportunity to build cases against the war criminals of Auschwitz.
Labyrinth of Lies is a prosaic but fascinating account of how a dense fog of nationwide amnesia was dissipated by the relentless pursuit of justice.
Labyrinth of Lies will show at The Dean Crowe Theatre and Arts Centre on Tuesday, October 25, from 8pm.