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neumu
Friday, April 18, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Taking Sides cinematronic
  director

István Szabó

cast

Harvey Keitel, Moritz Bleibtreu, Stellan Skarsgård, Birgit Minichmayr, R. Lee Ermey, Ulrich Tukur, Oleg Tabakov

year

2001

rating rating cinematronic
  The puzzling life of the renowned German conductor Dr. Wilhelm Furtwängler, who led the Berlin Philharmonic during the Third Reich, is integral to "Taking Sides," an uneven but effective drama that examines the question of complicity in the Nazi reign of terror. Director István Szabó ("Sunshine") and Oscar-winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood ("The Pianist") collaborated on the film, which is set right after the end of World War II. Under orders from his superiors, U.S. Army Major Steve Arnold runs an investigation of Furtwängler to assess the extent of the musician's Nazi sympathies. Furtwängler used his position to save Jewish musicians from the concentration camps, but he chose to stay in Germany under the Nazis and was considered one of the Reich's cultural resources. Arnold, played shrill and aggressive by Harvey Keitel, is determined to expose the evils of Furtwängler, enacted by Stellan Skarsgård in a well-modulated performance. But Arnold's assistant, Lt. David Wills (Moritz Bleibtreu of "Run Lola Run"), isn't so certain of Furtwängler's guilt. With access to the same evidence as Arnold and Wills, the audience is forced into "Taking Sides." It's a neat trick. With Birgit Minichmayr and R. Lee Ermey.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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