Synopsis: John Halder is a 'good' and decent individual with family problems: a neurotic wife, two demanding children and a mother suffering from senile dementia. A literary professor, Halder explores his personal circumstances in a novel advocating compassionate euthanasia. When the book is unexpectedly enlisted by powerful political figures in support of government propaganda, Halder finds his career rising in an optimistic current of nationalism and prosperity. Seemingly inconsequential decisions lead to choices, which lead to more choices... with eventually devastating effect.
Genre: Drama, Romance, War
Director(s): Vicente Amorim
Production: ThinkFilm
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
92 min

Dr Halder, Reichsleiter

Bouhler is waiting.

- You don't know what this is about, do you?

- What?

Uh... The letter I received...

It was marked "Reich Committee For

The Scientific Registration... "

"Of Severe Hereditary

Ailments. " That's correct.

It's just I have no idea what that

could possibly have to do with me.

Are you suggesting

there's been a mistake?

Heil Hitler.

Doctor Halder.

- Have we caught you at a bad time?

- Yes.

No, I did have to shuffle

a few tutorials, but...

Not every day one is summoned

to the Chancellery of the Fhrer.



As Chairman of the Party's

Censorship Committee,

it's my job to keep a vigilant

eye on modern literature

to ensure that it embodies the

proper spirit of National Socialism.

I've asked you here to clarify your views on

a matter of personal concern to the Fhrer.

Your novel.

It raises controversial questions

on the theme of the right to life.

Some of your conclusions

are quite revolutionary.

Are they?

Well, I take it the views expressed

here are ones that you yourself hold?

It's been some years since I wrote it.

Of course, it's a work of fiction.

- Give it back!

- Give it back. Lotte! It's Eric's homework.

- But I know the answer, it's easy.

- Give it back to him.

You're an angel for cooking again.

Hm. Yes, I know I am.

Are you sure you don't mind?


- When I get going I can't seem to stop.

- Shh!

No, it's fine.

- Stop it!

- John!

God! Lotte, come here.


Keep stirring this slowly, all right?

That's my girl.

- Johnnie!

- Coming, Mother!

There's someone at the door!


- Didn't you hear me knocking?

- Yes.

A mathematician! Just

the fellow we need.

Helen, your father's here.

- Oh.

- It's you I wanted to see.

- Hello, Father.

- Now, John... John!


Help has arrived.

Now, John, I have told you this before.

- You have to shake yourself

out of this apathy. - Right.

I have just come from the Rector...

What are you making?

- Er... Some kind of vegetable...

- Goulash!


There are changes coming at the

university sooner than you think.

Promotion will automatically

go to party members.

If you're not careful,

you'll be out of a job.


Yes, Mother!

Mind the onions.


- I'm here.

- Where were you?

- No, don't let them take me, Johnnie!

- It's Theodore.

You remember

- Helen's father.

I was sorry to hear you'd

been back at the sanatorium.

Helen, can you please come up?

- You need to go again?

- I couldn't hold it.

Oh, Mother.

"Dans une langue que nous savons,

"nous avons substitu I'opacit

des sons la transparence des ides. "

Transparency of ideas,

relativity of perception.

Music and faith.

Memory and guilt.

The most potent memories are

those we recapture involuntarily.

A chance sound...

the tap of a spoon against a plate

as he waits there in the library...

and suddenly happiness

floods through him.

He is transported back in time to a train

stopped in the middle of the countryside.

He is watching the sun light up a

little row of trees in the distance.

Outside, a railway man

is tapping a wheel with his hammer, and

it is an echo of this precise sound...


Better leave it there for today.

Go on, have a look.

Off you go.

Ah, Professor Mandelstam, we really should

do something about this, shouldn't we?

Go to the Rector?

Please, John, I don't

think that's a good idea.

For either of us.

In fact, I'm afraid I must go further.

As Head of Department

it is up to me to ensure that the works

of the proscribed authors are removed.

Not only from the library...

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John Wrathall

John James Wrathall GCLM, ID (28 August 1913 – 31 August 1978) was a Rhodesian politician. He was the last white President of Rhodesia (later holders of the post were only acting as such). He formerly worked as a chartered accountant. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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