Dennis Gansel's heartfelt drama combines the coming-of-age, boxing and Nazi
genres to explore Napola, a group of boarding schools that trained future Aryan
leaders. Young Friedrich (Riemelt) attends one such academy on a full boxing
scholarship; apolitical, he rightly sees enrolling as a way to escape
working-class drudgery. He remains blind to the consequences—until he befriends
Albrecht (Schilling), a slight, sensitive boy viewed with embarrassment by his
cruel father, who happens to be one of the Führer's top administrators. The plot
may be formulaic, but the film captures the scary seductiveness of fascism.