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EICHMANN: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
After hiding in Argentina for 15 years following his escape from Germany at the end of WWII, Adolf Eichmann (Thomas Kretschmann) is captured and interrogated by Avner Less (Troy Gariaty) - assisted by Hans Lipman (Stephen Greif) - of Israeli intelligence. He eventually confesses to the most harrowing crimes as the brutal architect of Hitler's Final Solution, which caused the death of 6 million Jews. (Based on the transcripts of interrogation.)

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Of all the endless stories that continue to stream out of the giant wound that is World War I, the story of Adolf Eichmann's capture and confession should be one of the most gripping. It is about the attempted partial closure - if such a thing is possible - in a subject that will never be forgotten: the Holocaust. Eichmann, its chief organiser, is the closest we can get to Hitler himself in this, and the sordid details of his army days have enormous relevance.

Robert Young's film is patchworked so that the interrogation and the past are fused with the private life of his interrogator, Avner Less (Troy Gariaty) as well as flashbacks to Eichmann's days in the SS - including his sexcual infidelity and a shocking scene with one of his mistresses and a baby.

Gariaty is a solemn Less, trying to keep his nervous wife (Franka Potente) calm while an angry mob rages in the streets of Jerusalem, wanting blood and retribution. Thomas Kretschmann gives us a tight lipped, softly spoken, refrigerated Eichmann whose contempt for his fellow humans oozes out of him like cold puss. The remarkable Stephen Fry is unsteady (and unconvincing) on his Israeli accent, but his screen authority is unquestionable as Minister Tormer in charge of the interrogation.

When Avner's background reveals that his father was sent to his death in Auschwitz over Eichmann's signature, he is advised to either get a confession fast (by Minister Tomer) or resign (by his wife Vera). At this point the film becomes a more complex one, as we take on new moral imperatives than the one about Eichmann's guilt. But its his guilt that the film builds on the portrait of the man. There was a confession of sorts, but only minimal hard evidence that tied him to decisions. He was just obeying orders, he would say.

Shot mostly in Budapest in the muted, desaturated colours of melancholy, the film's sombre mood is well maintained - and underlined by the sometimes quiet but always insistent score.

There are no special features on this DVD release.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

EICHMANN: DVD (M)
(Hungary/UK, 2007)

CAST: Thomas Kretschmann, Troy Garity, Franka Potente, Stephen Fry, Stephen Greif

PRODUCER: Karl Richards

DIRECTOR: Robert Young

SCRIPT: Snoo Wilson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Connor

EDITOR: Saska Simpson

MUSIC: Richard Harvey

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Tinor Lazar

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: None

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Opal Movies

DVD RELEASE: October 13, 2010







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