Friday, January 23, 2009


Everyone knows Tom Cruise is a bit of a fruit loop. He's on letterman at the moment confirming that very thing. But, he's not a bad actor and tonight I went to see his new film "Valkyrie" which is based on true events surrounding an attempt by conspirators in the German army in 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitler. I don't know how accurate it was but it was fascinating and surprisingly gripping to watch considering that I knew how it ended from the start. Cruise plays Col. Stauffenberg, the driving force in the conspiracy. I hadn't heard of him before but I have heard of the German Christian theologian Dietrich Bonhoffer who was involved in a plot to kill Hitler and was martyred. I don't know if it was the same plot; according to the credits there were 15 different attempts to assassinate Hitler. Sadly none of them succeeded but Stauffenberg came very close, managing to set off a bomb at a meeting of Hitler's key Generals and staff at his headquarters known as "The Wolf's Lair".

He paid for his treason with his own life, along with dozens of others involved in the attempt, but his wife and children escaped and survived and she only passed away in 2006.

The best thing about the movie for me was coming to a realisation that there was significant resistance to Hitler within Germany and that so many people were committed to the attempt to kill him. Like many people I've wondered why the German people followed and obeyed such an evil dictator. No doubt fear played a big part but it was good to learn a little about people who defied their fear and acted audaciously for the cause of good in face of the incredible risk.

NB. I appreciated the fact that it was in English for ease of understanding but it did detract from the authenticity of the film.

No comments: