The most moving moment in the dispassionate documentary BLIND SPOT: HITLER'S SECRETARY (2005), in which Traudl Junge recounts her brief tenure as the Fuhrer's final administrative assistant, is when she describes coming across a plaque commemorating the bravery of Sophie Scholl and her brother, Hans. Unlike Traudl — who, six decades later, was still attempting to justify her World War II-era actions as those of a young, naive woman who saw no alternative — Scholl was an ordinary German woman who saw that she did have a choice. Though Scholl ultimately paid with her life, she exercised what little freedom she had under the Third Reich to protest the regime and, as a member of the underground student group "The White Rose," conspired as best she could to bring about its downfall. German filmmaker Marc Rothemund's powerful film follows Sophie (Julia Jentsch), Hans (Fabian Hinrichs) and coconspirator Christoph Probst (Florian Stetter) through their final six days, beginning with a clandestine Munich meeting of White Rose members in February 1943. After stuffing envelopes with the group's latest communique alerting the German people to the true nature of the carnage on the Eastern Front and calling for an end to Hitler's unwinnable war, Hans announces his plan to distribute the rest of the fliers at the University of Munich, where he and Sophie are both students. It's a dangerous plan that borders on foolhardy — the campus has already been infiltrated by undercover Gestapo agents — but Sophie agrees to help by smuggling the flier-filled valise into a school building between classes, then helping him scatter the leaflets throughout the empty hallways. At the very last moment, however, Sophie is spotted by a university janitor, a Nazi toady who's more than eager to turn Hans and Sophie over the police. After three days of interrogation, Sophie, along with Hans and Probst, the leaflet's author, are charged with high treason, troop demoralization and aiding the enemy, and forced to defend themselves in a show trial whose outcome is a foregone conclusion. Fred Breinersdorfer based much of his screenplay on new interviews and unpublished transcripts. As a result, certain scenes feel a bit staged — particularly Sophie's lengthy interrogation by Gestapo official Robert Mohr (Alexander Held). Nevertheless, the film is a shattering experience fueled by Jentsch's electrifying performance. She captures the uncommon bravery as well as the very human fears of an "ordinary" German girl who continued to hold out hope for her nation's soul throughout the Nazi nightmare.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: NR
- Review: The most moving moment in the dispassionate documentary BLIND SPOT: HITLER'S SECRETARY (2005), in which Traudl Junge recounts her brief tenure as the Fuhrer's final administrative assistant, is when she describes coming across a plaque commemorating the br… (more)