The Ninth Day

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  • NR
  • 2004
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 7.0  (1,919)
  • 67

In the movie The Ninth Day, directed by Volker Schlöndorff, we follow the story of Father Henri Kremer (Ulrich Matthes), a Catholic priest who was imprisoned by the Nazis in Luxembourg in 1942. He was granted a nine-day leave by the Gestapo, to see his family and encourage them to keep up the faith. In exchange, he had to convince the Bishop of Luxembourg to cooperate with the Nazi regime. Henri is faced with a moral dilemma, as he tries to reconcile his religious beliefs with the evil atrocities committed by the Germans.

As Henri travels back to Luxembourg, he meets his former student and protégé, SS officer Gebhardt (August Diehl), who is now tasked with convincing Henri to collaborate with the Nazis. Gebhardt challenges Henri with difficult questions, forcing him to confront the ethical implications of his decisions. Throughout the film, we see a close-up of Henri's inner turmoil as he struggles to decide whether to betray his faith or risk the lives of his fellow priests and resistance members.

The film is set in the outskirts of Luxembourg City, where the Nazis had set up a semi-autonomous state. The city is a ghost town, and the buildings are covered in posters glorifying the Third Reich. The bleak and sterile cinematography emphasizes the austerity of the surroundings and the inner conflict of Henri's character. The film's atmospheric and haunting score by Christoph M. Kaiser and Julian Maas sets the tone for the dark and intense story.

The performances are superb, particularly Ulrich Matthes, who delivers a powerful and nuanced portrayal of a man caught between chasms. August Diehl is equally impressive as the SS officer, who has his own inner demons to confront. Hilmar Thate, who plays the Bishop of Luxembourg, is convincing as a man who is willing to compromise his beliefs to save the lives of others.

Maybe the most striking aspect of the film is its portrayal of the historical period. The Ninth Day is inspired by true events, and it provides a compelling depiction of the complexities of Catholic resistance under the Nazi regime. The film highlights the courage and valor of the resistance but also shows the dilemmas faced by Catholics who were torn between their religion and their duty to their country. At times, The Ninth Day can be an unflinching depiction of the cruelty and depravity of the Nazis, but it also offers a glimpse of humanity and altruism in the most challenging of circumstances.

Overall, The Ninth Day is a thought-provoking and emotionally charged film that offers a fresh perspective on Catholic resistance under the Nazi regime. It is an intense, harrowing, and haunting tale of conscience and morality that will leave viewers pondering about the cost of resistance when the stakes are life and death. It is truly an immersive and significant work that deserves to be seen by a larger audience.

The Ninth Day
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (1,919)
  • Metascore