© 2000-2005 Constantin Film Verleih GmbH

Napola - Elite für den Führer
Germany 2004

Opening 13 Jan 2005

Directed by: Dennis Gansel
Writing credits: Dennis Gansel, Maggie Peren
Principal actors: Max Riemelt, Tom Schilling, Devid Striesow, Joachim Bissmeier, Justus von Dohnanyi

Dennis Gansel and Maggie Peren won Best German potential film script 2003 for Napola and will most likely be nominated for more awards with this completed version. Seventeen-year-old boxing talent Friedrich Weimer (Max Riemelt) catches the eye of an instructor who invites him to attend the National Political Boys School in Allenstein (NAPOLA). Against the will of his family, Friedrich grasps this opportunity. He comes from the working class and believes this is a chance to get an education and become a leader instead of a follower. His boxing talent is monitored very precisely and he attends classes in military training as well as the political indoctrination of the time. In order to succeed he must forget his compassion and empathy for others; he seems happy with his new friends. The film slowly picks up momentum as Friedrich meets the sensitive Albrecht Stein (Tom Schilling) who excels in writing rather than military skills. The highly respected and intelligent Albrecht, who comes from the upper military class, shows Friedrich through his writing that he questions the authority and political system laid out before them. The film climaxes when Albrecht refuses to renounce a report that he wrote after being forced to participate in a raid against defenseless children. An unwillingness to compromise their feelings leads these boys down a tragic road. This film manages gracefully to illustrate haunting and powerful images that leaves you with a sense of the passion and despair of that time. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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