The Good German and Hitler's Children to My Enemy's Enemy and The German Doctor. Few if any, however, have come directly from Germany to cover the subject of how and why those ex-Nazi war criminals who were allowed to flourish in Germany and elsewhere (the USA recruited a number of them, too) in the years immediately after WWII. Well, we've got that movie now.
LABYRINTH OF LIES, the first full-length film to be directed by Giulio Ricciarelli (shown at left, who also co-wrote), will win no awards for its filmmaking prowess. It's workmanlike and professional, consistently interesting if somewhat formulaic, and -- like its obsessive protagonist, Johann (played with monochromatic grit by Alexander Fehling, below, ) -- keeps its intentions clear and in its gun-sight from beginning to end. That said, Ricciarelli's movie pleasantly surprises now and again by what it does not show us. In one scene, in which a Holo-caust survivor is inter-viewed about his experi-ences in a concentration camp, instead of showing/telling us about these (we've heard so much by now, could anything else shock or move us?), the filmmaker cuts to after the interview and instead shows us a quietly moving and unsettling scene with the secretary/ stenographer (a fine Hansi Jochmann, below, right) who has just recorded all that was said.
Gert Voss, above, this character provides a much-needed grounding for both the movie and its increasingly over-the-top main character.
Friederike Becht, above and below), who turns out to be every bit as savvy, if not quite so obsessive, as her man. A clothing designer, she helps get her guy (and us) out of the grim workplace and into the world.
Sony Pictures Classics, in German with English subtitles -- opens here in South Florida this Friday, October 23, in the West Palm Beach area at Movies of Delray and Movies of Lake Worth and at Boca Raton's Living Room Theaters and Regal Shadowood. The following Friday, October 30, the film will open at Miami's Tower Theater.