Taking Sides

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Taking Sides ★★★½ Der Fall Furt-wangler 2001

Szabo again looks at Naziera Germany, this time in the story of famed conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, who stayed in Germany as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic under the Nazis. The film concentrates on Furtwangler's (Skaarsgaard) pre-trial interrogation by American Denazification Committee officer Steve Arnold (Keitel), whose aides, both of German and Jewish decscent, have some sympathy for Furtwangler. Arnold is caustic and unrelenting in his mission to get to the bottom of the conductor's collaboration, while Furtwangler refuses to believe he has anything to apologize for, invoking his allegiance to his art, and his professed belief that he was making a difference. Both performances are magnificent and aid greatly in Szabo and Harwood's ability to let you know where they stand, yet be balanced in their portrayal of both views of the man. 105m/C DVD . FR GE GB AT Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgard, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birgit Minichmayr, Oleg Tabakov, Ulrich Tukur, Hanns Zischler, August Zirner, R. Lee Ermey, Robin Renucci; D: Istvan Szabo; W: Ronald Harwood; C: Lajos Koltai.