Film: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days aka: Sophie Scholl
There is a slight possibility that this trial may not be entirely fair.
2005 German film, originally titled Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage, based on the true story of the White Rose passive resistance group, who were active in Munich from June 1942 until February 1943, when six of their most prominent members were arrested and executed. The film depicts the arrest, interrogation, trial and ultimate execution of their most famous member, 21-year-old Sophie Scholl, along with her brother Hans and friend Christoph Probst. All of which takes a grand total of four days.The film won three prizes at the Berlin Film Festival (including Best Actress for Julia Jentsch), and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.This is not the first time that the exploits and fate of the White Rose movement have been depicted on film, but the 1982 West German production Die weiße Rose, while a hit in its country of origin, is virtually unknown to foreign audiences.
Badass Pacifist: All the White Rose activists. As Sophie proclaims during her trial "We fight with words."
Bittersweet Ending: The trio are executed and the remaining members of their resistance movement are mercilessly hunted down and either executed, imprisoned, or deported to concentration camps, but one of their pamphlets is successfully smuggled out of Germany, to be mass-produced and dropped from aircraft by the Allies, and in any case, the audience knows that the regime is on its last legs and the free, democratic Germany that the movement envisions will indeed come into being.
Black and White Morality: To be fair, it really doesn't get much more black and white than "Pacifist College Students vs Nazis". Sophie's initial interrogator, however, is portrayed as being somewhat reluctant
Chummy Commies: Sophie's cell-mate Else Gebel is a communist, but she nonetheless strikes up a friendship with the devoutly Christian Sophie, and at one point claims "Communists look out for one another."
Curb-Stomp Battle: A handful of pacifist university students versus a murderous fascist regime that had already conquered most of Europe? If you're still having trouble placing a bet, the film's subtitle should clue you in.
Doomed Moral Victor: It goes without saying that Sophie Scholl and her fellow Widerstandskämpfer are considered national heroes in modern Germany.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: During Sophie's interrogation, as she espouses her commitment to democracy and the equality of all human beings, Investigator Mohr laments her "misdirection", and claims that, as she is young, it may be possible for her to be re-educated and released back into society. She then recounts her training as a nurse, when disabled children across the country were taken away to be murdered.
Sophie: You think I wasn't raised right, because I feel pity for them?
Face Death with Dignity: Sophie, Hans and Christoph are resolute and calm throughout the show trial and even as they are led to their deaths. Sophie is the first to be taken to the guillotine, and as she is taken from her companions, she smiles and says "The sun is still shining."
"Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Sophie and Hans each give one out. After the death sentences are handed out by the Kangaroo Court, Sophie tells Judge Freisler "You will soon stand where we stand now", and in one of the final scenes, just before the guillotine's blade severs his head, Hans yells "Es lebe die Freiheit!" (Long live freedom!)
Females Are More Innocent: The White Rose take advantage of the Double Standard by allowing Sophie to carry the case full of pamphlets on her person, as it is easier for women to get through SS control points.
Foregone Conclusion: Despotic regimes don't take kindly to criticism. Even the title knows these students don't stand a chance.
Germanic Efficiency: Employed to chilling effect by the Gestapo. As stated above, four days. In fact, it is precisely because of their meticulous record-keeping that it was possible to reconstruct the last days of Sophie Scholl and her fellows with such accuracy - a large portion of the film simply consists of actors reciting the interview transcripts and official reports made during the event.
Historical Hero Upgrade: Minor example. Else Gebel, the political prisoner who is depicted as a fellow antifascist and as sympathetic to Sophie's plight, was in reality most likely a Gestapo mole. Also, arguably, communism itself by virtue of being anti-fascist, despite the fact that the Soviet dictatorship employed the same tactics of terror deplored and denounced by the White Rose. Neither point is ever touched upon.
Justified in Else's case since the entire film is told through Sophie's POV. If Else was a Gestapo mole, Sophie would've had no way of finding this out in the time she had left.
Hollywood Atheist: Investigator Mohr certainly has shades of this, especially in contrast to the devoutly Christian Sophie.
Hope Spot: The Scholls are almost released from the Gestapo HQ, but a search of their apartment yields concrete evidence of their resistance activities.
I Have a Family: With the full support of the Scholl siblings, Christoph Probst pleads for clemency on the grounds that he has three small children and a sickly wife who has just given birth. It doesn't work.
Manly Tears: Christoph, frequently, out of fear for his wife and children.
My Death Is Only The Beginning: The White Rose were convinced that the obviously draconian measures taken against them for merely handing out leaflets would inspire the people of Germany to passively resist the Nazis en masse.
My Girl Back Home: Sophie herself. Her conviction that her fiancé Fritz is suffering and risking his life in Stalingrad for an utterly depraved regime is one of her driving motivations.
Nazi Germany: The setting, obviously. Munich, to be precise.
Ordinary University Student: One of the remarkable characteristics of the White Rose is just how unremarkable all of its members were. Sophie and her co-conspirators were perfectly ordinary students from perfectly ordinary families attending perfectly ordinary lectures and with perfectly ordinary hobbies and interests. The could be mistaken for any of the thousands of idealist students from universities around the world, save that they were living in a time when to be politically dissident was to risk one's life.
Pet the Dog: A lot of moments between Sophie and Robert Mohr, who is more of a Lawful Neutral operating under a depraved legal system, than an outright villain. She is about the same age as his own son and he makes several remarks to the effect of "I would have raised you differently." He is genuinely distressed at the thought of this young person throwing her life away, as he sees it.
Reality Is Unrealistic: You might think that actor Andre Hennicke as Roland Friesler is overracting. He isn't. We have film footage of the Real Life Friesler at some of his show trials where Friesler makes Hennicke look positively subdued.
Say Your Prayers: Devout Lutheran Sophie pauses to pray several times, including just before her execution.
Secret Police: Much of the film consists of Sophie's interrogation by the Gestapo.
Sound-Only Death: The camera pans away just before Sophie's execution. We hear the guillotine fall three times, along with Hans screaming, "Es lebe die Freiheit!"
Spirited Young Lady: Sophie ticks a lot of the boxes, being a young, middle class, confident, Christian intellectual defying a regime that labelled the women's rights movement "a product of the Jewish intellect" (And That's Terrible).
Tragic Mistake: At Sophie's behest, the Scholl siblings leave every single one of their antifascist pamphlets in plain sight at the university and she also turns back to throw a pile of the leaflets from a balcony in a dramatic (and quite arguably unnecessary) gesture. Ultimately, the two leave themselves no time to escape.
Two Guys and a Girl: Sophie, Hans and Christoph, although in this case the girl of the trio is the principal character.