A dramatization of the final days of Sophie Scholl, one of the most famous members of the German World War II anti-Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose.
Release Year: 2005
Rating: 7.7/10 (12,299 voted)
Critic's Score: 76/100
Stars: Julia Jentsch, Fabian Hinrichs, Gerald Alexander Held
The Final Days is the true story of Germany's most famous anti-Nazi heroine brought to life. Sophie Scholl is the fearless activist of the underground student resistance group, The White Rose. Using historical records of her incarceration, the film re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl's life: a journey from arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence in 1943 Munich. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to her comrades, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless.
Sophie Magdalena Scholl
Gerald Alexander Held
(as Alexander Held)
Richter Dr. Roland Freisler
The true story of a young woman who did what few in Nazi Germany dared even think!
Release Date: 24 February 2005
Filming Locations: Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Opening Weekend: €27,103
(18 September 2005)
(13 August 2006)
Did You Know?
This film's opening prologue states: "This film is based on historical facts, as yet unpublished transcripts, and new interviews with witnesses."
In the long interrogation in the middle of the film, the pile of index cards in front of interrogator Mohr keeps moving around on the table.
Pfarrer Dr. Alt:
[giving Sophie a last blessing]
May God the Father bless you, who created you in His image. May God the Son bless you, whose suffering and death redeems you. May God the Holy Spirit bless you, who leads you to his temple and hallows you. May the Trinity judge you with mercy, and grant you eternal life. Amen.
[the guard arrives for Sophie. Sophie stands up]
Pfarrer Dr. Alt:
No one loves more than one who dies for friends.
A finely accurate, touching story
As this is more of a history film, I will write this review based on
the historical aspect of the film and not so much about the acting.
However it goes without saying that the acting and handling of the
camera was nothing less than superlative! By watching the film you
really have the impression of being there at that time.
This film details the last six days of the primary members of a
resistance group called the White Rose. The White Rose was an
organization of students, mainly around Munich, during the years
1942-1943, though there were fringe elements that eluded capture by the
authorities that survived until the end of the war. Many of those
survivors contribute to this story.
There are two other films about the group. The main one was a film
called "The White Rose". It can be found described here in IMDb. It
recounts the complete story of the group. The other was Fünf Letzte
Tage (The five last days), which deals with Sophie's last five days.
Both of these movies were released in 1982 and the same actress (Lena
Stolze) plays Sophie Scholl.
This current film is an amalgamation of the two films with some
expansion to the story. More information since the original two films,
released in 1982, was subsequently available.
I have studied the story of this group at some length and find the
historical aspects of this film track very well with a few notable
exceptions. First, at one point when Sophie learns that Christoph
Probst was also implicated (she and Hans tried to take all the blame to
avoid others from being drawn in) historical accounts say she was
shaken to her core and she screams. In the movie however it hardly
phases her, she only screams later after the meeting with her parents.
I suppose this was done to increase the theatrical value by the
The other is that Police Commissioner Mohr is painted slightly darker
than in real life. According to Else Gebel he came back from the prison
"white as chalk". She asks if they will die and he only nods shaken
from the experience. Else asks how she took it. He replies that she was
very brave." He then said, "Keep her in your thoughts in the next half
an hour. By that time she will reach the end of her suffering.".
However despite this I thought it was a fantastic film, and probable to
date the best one on the subject. There have been a recent wave of
films coming from the Bavaria Film Studios, "Der Untergang", "Napola"
and this film, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the end of the
war. It has been suggested in some circles that this is an attempt to
whitewash, I disagree. Until 1994 when I made a visit to Tuebingen and
saw some graffiti, I never heard of the White Rose (I am an American).
In fact I didn't even know there WAS a German resistance. So I think
this about time that this is also given it's place in history along
side of the other aspects. In every age there is always a resistance
element — even in our own day. So why should this be such a surprise?
I hope that those who see this film enjoy it as I have. I give it nine