Five Last Days

"I will never be able to think of these events without being horrified." (Percy Adlon)

 

 

 

wpae3f4f8a.jpg Fünf letzte Tage (1982)

Five Last Days

A film by Percy Adlon

Irm Herrmann.............……………Else Gebel

Lena Stolze........................…….Sophie Scholl

Joachim Bernhard................…….Helfer

Ossi Eckmuller....................…….Wachmann 1

Hans Stadlbauer................………Wachmann 2

Gert Burkard........................…....Pflichtverteidiger

Michael Cornelius................……..Hans

Philip Arp.........................…….....Philip

Hans Hirschmueller...........……….Mahr

Will Spindler......................……...Beamter G

On February 22, 1943 a 21 year old student, Sophie Scholl, was executed by guillotine for her involvement in the anti-Nazi resistance movement. The last five days of her life are seen here from the perspective of a fellow cellmate, Else Gebel. Percy Adlon found relatives of Else Gebel, which helped him piece together the complex and strong character of a woman 20 years Sophie’s senior, and through her he exposes an only rarely seen picture of the 1943 Germany. We see the Gestapo personnel at the Wittelsbacher Palais of Munich (then a prison/detention center where Sophie Scholl was held) not as demonic personifications of Evil incarnate, but rather as minor Bavarian civil servants doing their day to day administrative functions. Else’s testimonial, written after Sophie’s death, expresses the silent shock that even the trial’s prosecutor felt at the unbelievable quality of mundane everydayness and “upright middle-class virtues” that legalized a death sentence for a young girl’s crime of composing, producing and distributing anti-war leaflets. Ultimately, Adlon’s attitude allows for optimism despite the tragedy: Scholl has the strength to remain true to her commitment and Gebel becomes articulate (eventually literary) and rises above the deadening mediocrity of life represented by the prison officialdom.

Five Last Days Written and directed by Percy Adlon

Director of Photography - Horst Lermer

Production Design - Heidi Luedi

Editor - Clara Fabry

Music - Franz Schubert, String Quartet “Death and the Maiden”, performed by Bartholdy-Quartett

TV producer - Heinz Bühmler

Produced by - Eleonore Adlon

A pelemele Film production with BR

Shot on 16mm Agfa stock in Munich (Bühler-Palais, Briennerstrasse) from February 15 to March 15, 1982.

Premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, September 1982, in competition.

AWARDS:

GERMAN FILM AWARD in SILVER for the producers

And in GOLD for Lena Stolze and Irm Herrmann

BAVARIAN FILM AWARD for director Percy Adlon, 1983

OCIC-Prize, Venice, 1982

In German with English subtitles, 112 min

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