|The Unknown Soldier
A film by Michael Verhoeven
97 minutes, documentary, color, German w/ English subtitles, 2007
The crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi regime are often thought of as the work of the Waffen SS and Gestapo, under the direction of leader like Himmler, Eichmann and, ultimately, Hitler. The “ordinary” german soldier is usually seen as a noble pawn. Until now.
In this astonishing, searing and vitally important documentary, Michael Verhoeven, director of the Oscar–nominated The Nasty Girl, unearths the long-buried truth - while simultaneously showing modern Germany in the throes of an identity crisis.
The Unknown Soldier documents Germany’s controversial Wehrmacht Exhibition, which for the first time ever revealed the personal letters, photographs and film footage implicating the common foot soldier in horrific acts. While nationalist and far right groups led street protests against it, saying the ‘evidence’ damning their fathers and grandfathers had been falsified, Verhoeven interviewed historians and experts, soldiers and eyewitnesses, and traveled to the killing fields of the Eastern Front. The result is both an invaluable document and a revealing look at an insecure nation, still reconciling its proud history with a unique and horrible wartime legacy.
"Both chilling and fascinating. Impressive." - The New York Times
"Shocking. Like a depth charge in Germany's consciousness." - New York Sun
"Superb." - LA Weekly
"Critic's Pick! Gripping...disurbing." - New York Magazine
"Searingly thorough... the line between wishful denial and nationalist pathology evaporates with terrifying ease." - Time Out NY
"A smart, subtly complex film. Deftly woven...taboo-shattering." - The Jewish Week
"Searing...Verhoeven’s important film asks us to expand our thinking about the Holocaust beyond Auschwitz and the gas chambers." - TV Guide
"Provocative...intriguing... punctures the closely held belief that everyday citizens and low-ranking soldiers were blameless for the crimes of the Third Reich. Very few want to think of Grandpa as a Nazi." - Los Angeles Times
"Ranks with The Sorrow and the Pity as a superb examination of national identity in relation to Nazism." - Cineaste
See details about this film's theatrical
● Archival Photo Gallery