Monday, August 3, 2015

Amen - Movie Review

A holocaust movie but from the other side. Here we have an SS officer Gerstein who has found a way of disinfecting stuff and unwittingly finds that his program to purify water and vermin is being used to gas Jews in concentration camps. He is asked to supply more and more stuff as the officers are given increasingly stiff targets to gas Jews in thousands by the day. Gerstein is shocked when he witnesses a gas chamber but all he can do is try and slow the process.

For intervention to save the Jews from being massacred he seeks the help of the Pope and finds access through a young priest who is sympathetic to the story. Despite their best efforts the two realise that they are not being taken seriously enough -everyone is waiting for the right moment while the Jews are murdered and burned in mass graves. The disillusioned priest joins one of the infamous trains heading to the concentration camps and is gassed. Gerstein provides all the evidence to Allies but he is held guilty for not doing enough as a Christian and arrested. He hangs himself. Interestingly the doctor in the SS who never did a thing to help the Jews or stop the carnage finds a way out of the system and goes to Argentina from Rome to a new life. Life's been always unfair it seems like.

Gerstein's was a real life character. The priest if fictional. The holocaust comes once again to haunt us. One wonders what happened then. Why so many people lost their sense of reason. The movie shows a new angle - the human side of some SS officers and Nazi soldiers and the helpless or rather inhuman side of the powers that could have helped but chose not to.

No comments: