The Ninth Day
The Ninth Day ★★★ Der Neunte Tag 2004
Examines Nazism from the side of its victims through the plight of Rev. Henri Kremer, a Roman Catholic priest from Luxembourg imprisoned at Dachau. The cruel logic behind totalitarian power is revealed in the plot to use Kremer in coercing his bishop to declare Nazism compatible with church doctrine, upon which they will ‘grant' him a nine-day furlough. Failure will result in the execution of 18 Luxembourg priests in his Dachau block and will also bring harm to his family. All performances, in German with English subtitles, are stellar. Scholondorff lays out the theological and ethical debates of potent themes without over-dramatizing them. 90m/C DVD . GE Ulrich Matthes, August Diehl, Germain Wagner, Bibiana Beglau, Jean-Paul Raths, Ivan Jirik, Karel Hromadka, Miroslav Sichman, Adolf Filip, Vladimir Fiser, Petr Varga, Petr Janis, Zdenek Pechacek, Karel Dobry, Goetz Burger, Hilmar Thate; D: Volker Schlondorff; W: Eberhard Goerner, Andreas Pflueger; C: Tomas Erhart; M: Alfred Schnittke.