Original Languages: German
Running Time: 123 min
Giulio Ricciarelli’s Labyrinh of Lies (Im Labyrinth des Schweigens) is a gripping drama about an ambitious young prosecutor who sets out to bring World War II criminals to justice. The film is Germany’s 2016 Oscar submission for best foreign language consideration.
Frankfurt 1958: nobody wants to look back to the time of the National Socialist (Nazi) regime. Newly hired public prosecutor Johann Radmann
(Alexander Fehling) comes across documents that help initiate the trial against some members of the SS who served in Auschwitz. But both
the horrors of the past and the hostility shown towards his work bring Radmann close to a meltdown. It is nearly impossible for him to find his
way through the maze. Everybody seems to have been involved or guilty.
Also starring are Friederike Becht as Radmann’s girlfriend (they meet when he gives her a traffic ticket), André Szymanski as the journalist
who first brings the story to Radmann’s attention and the late Gert Voss as the prosecutor who encourages Radmann’s curiosity. Although the story is ficticious, it’s based on true events. Radmann is an amalgamation of three prosecutors who participated in the 1963-65 Frankfurt Auschwitz trails,
Instead of showing the atrocities, the film concentrates on the faces of the Auschwitz survivors as they talk about the atrocities they endured. The audience hears not their words, but rather a choir-driven score.
The film is directed by Giulio Ricciarelli, who co-wrote the script with Elizabeth Bartel, who was inspired by a newspaper article.