The Ninth Day (Volker Schlondorff)
The Ninth Day is a story about a Luxembourg priest who, after slaving away at the Dachau labor camp, is released to return home and persuade the bishop of Luxembourg to back the Germans. This is a little talked about subject, but the Pope during WWII kept fairly silent about what the Nazi were up to. This film explores that silence and conundrum the church was in while the Nazi machine was plowing through Europe.
Regardless that it is subtitled, acting and dialogue is rich and moving beyond many films out today. Director Volker Schlondorff’s displays true film craftsmanship: every frame has texture, depth and merit. The beat of the film is like a soft sobbing. That said, its gloom is not the nucleus of the film but rather the source of our main characters courage.
It is deep but not torturous; we have a story, not a moral whipping.
Obliviously, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea to watch a serious film about the Nazis and the Curia when we have these lovely days of summer, but it would do you a great service to sacrifice an hour and half to see good film work.