Before The Fall

on October 07, 2005 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
A young man learns the realities of life when he is sent to an elite school for Nazi Germany's future leaders. The schools, called Napolas, were set up to indoctrinate young men and women into Nazi culture, culling the cream of the crop from all over Germany. They were also egalitarian, which is how lower-class boxing champ Friedrich Weimer (Max Riemelt) gets in, despite the opposition of his anti-Nazi father. Once there, Weimer befriends Albrecht Stein (Tom Schilling), the sensitive son of the region's military governor, a friendship that eventually opens up Freidrich's eyes to what is being perpetrated in his country's name.

Though well-made, "Before the Fall" never really comes to cinematic life. Freidrich's and Albrecht's friendship is sketchily developed and the rest of the film's characters are one-dimensional. The movie is more interesting for its subject matter than its execution. Starring Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling and Justus Von Dohnanyi. Directed by Dennis Gansel. Written by Dennis Gansel and Maggie Peren. Produced by Molly von Furstenberg, Viola Jager and Harald Kugler. A Picture This release. Drama. German-language; subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time: 115 min

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