The Ninth Day


Time Out says

Schlondorff’s superior WWII movie is not the Holocaust concentration-camp drama one might expect from the opening scenes set in Dachau. In 1942, a priest (Matthes, remarkable) is released by the Nazis and allowed to return to the family home in Luxembourg – but not for good: he has nine days in which to persuade the intransigent Bishop to work with the occupying forces. Thereafter, the film becomes in many regards a philosophically and ethically sophisticated two-hander, in which two men – the priest and an idealistic Nazi officer formerly in a Catholic seminary – do battle with one another and their respective faiths; the other characters exist primarily to exert pressure on the two antagonists. Unfussily made, beautifully performed, and old-fashioned in the best sense, it’s one of its director’s finest films for some years.


Release details

97 mins

Cast and crew

Volker Schlöndorff
Ulrich Matthes
Hilmar Thate
August Diehl
Bibiana Beglau
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