This is a comparatively recent British film, released in 2003. Directed by Istvan Szabo, it stars Harvey Keitel and Stellan Skarsgard. Based on a true story, Skarsgard plays German Jewish conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler, who stayed in Germany during the Second World War, rather than fleeing the Nazis like most Jewish musicians. Not only did he stay, but he played for Hitler’s birthday and a Nazi rally, and his recording of Bruckner’s 7th Symphony was played after Hitler’s death. Keitel plays Major Steve Arnold who investigates and prosecutes Furtwangler at the U.S denazification trials after the War.
This is an acclaimed film and raises some interesting questions about the morality of Jewish behaviour during the Nazi era – but also the behaviour of the Allies in their quest for revenge after the War.
This is the Film Club’s second-last film for the year before the Christmas break. Screened at the Faith College wine centre. the programme will commence with Australian short film “Fade” at 7.30, then the main feature after a break for coffee and cake.