Amen. (2002)

To the Catholic church's eternal shame, this movie is a drama that reflects the actual point in history in which the church purposely ignored the evidence that was presented to them about the holocaust. The movie depicts the struggle of two men to try to get The Holy Sea to understand the magnitude of the evil that was taking place, and they were constantly rebuffed by church officials who sought to isolate The Pope from this information for the protection of the church itself.

Ulrich Tukur plays a man who is fighting for his country - Germany. As a doctor, he has developed a method for purifying water using chemicals so that German troops in the field do not dehydrate. One of the chemicals he uses to kill the nasty things in the water starts being created at a very high rate, and he eventually finds out that it is being used to kill Jews in large numbers. He feels that the German people would never stand for this if they knew what was going on, and he decides that he needs to get the information to someone powerful who can make a worldwide statement about it to set off a revolution inside Germany.

Mathieu Kassovitz is the priest who takes this mission as his own, and he tries to move up the chain of command inside the church hierarchy so that The Pope might make public comments about it. With a large Catholic population inside Germany, this might give the people the push they need to topple Hitler and his entire government.

The movie is filled with emotional arguments and a near constant, intense feeling that something is about to happen one way or the other. At any point, the conspirators may be discovered, and their lives may be forfeited. Any any time, the Holy Father may get the news and make a public declaration. It is this intensity that makes the movie enjoyable to watch. It draws you in, and (even if you know how this come out) makes you fear for the characters and hope that they succeed. This is due in no small part to the talent of the actors involved.

Watching this movie through the color of history, I can still totally see why the church hierarchy, eager to protect its status as neutral, would have tried to block the news rising to The Pope in the first place. If you think about it, The Vatican is a sovereign nation that is completely surrounded by Italy, one of the Axis powers. Speaking out against the Axis may very well result in the complete destruction of the city, and remove their base of power. If only there was someone who could be counted on to take the moral high ground.

Acting was very good
Dialogue was very good
Story was very good
Costumes were very good
Direction was very good

Bottom Line: While a little slow moving at times, it is a very good movie.



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