Sophie Scholl - The Final Days
The true story of a young woman who did what few in Nazi Germany dared even think.In 1943, as Hitler continues to wage war across Europe, a group of college students mount an underground resistance movement in Munich. Dedicated expressly to the downfall of the monolithic Third Reich war machine, they call themselves the White Rose. One of its few female members, Sophie Scholl is captured during a dangerous mission to distribute pamphlets on campus with her brother Hans. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to the White Rose, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless.
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Questions For Discussion
- When the students were preparing the leaflets, did you feel their idealism would crack under the realism of the threat of execution? What set them apart from typical youthful idealists?
- How did their educational background contribute to their character formation?
- Do you think they knew they would likely get caught and pay such a high price?
- The movie contains cinematographic effects using light and sunshine: discuss. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
- How do the physical surroundings of the movie relate to the film's meaning?
- What could the knocking of the pamphlets over the balcony symbolize?
- What is your impression of Mohr, the interrogator? Is he a guardian spirit or a tormentor? In what way does the interrogation scene mirror Pilate and Jesus?
- Do the White Rose conspirators fulfill Goebbel’s mandate of “total war”? "Those who do not understand today will thank us tomorrow on bent knees for taking on the task.”
- Why is the lavatory scene - when she removes her hairclip - pivotal to the plot of the movie?
- Is there any moment in your life where you can say “I don’t regret it. I’m willing to accept the consequences”?
- Why does Mohr become increasingly uncomfortable in condemning Sophie?
- Germany under the Nazis has often been accused of not having any noticeable noticeable resistance movement (unlike Poland and France). Does this movie help explain why?
- What role does faith play in Sophie's understanding of resistance?
- The 'White Rose' isn't a typical name for a political movement. What do you think it meant?
- A reviewer has said that Sophie could almost taste freedom at the end. Is it possible she experienced freedom in fact?
- What is the danger in calling Sophie and Hans Scholl heroes?
- What biblical stories does the movie remind you of?
- Does the 'global war on terror' resemble Nazism in any respect?
How does it differ?