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On January 20, 1942, with the tide of war turning in favor of the Allies, a small group of SS officers, government ministers, and Nazi officials met near Berlin to decide the fate of Europe's Jews. Based on the only surviving record of that meeting, Conspiracy is a powerful combination of historical reconstruction and speculation that attempts to offer new insights into a pivotal moment in history.
The cast does a marvelous job of fleshing out the documentary evidence to create convincing characters. Kenneth Branagh is especially chilling as SS Chief of Security Reinhard Heydrich, who uses a combination of charm and ruthless power-mongering to gain support for his plans. Colin Firth is fascinating as Wilhelm Stuckart, a lawyer who sees the brutal tactics of the SS as a threat to his own intellectualized anti-Semitism, and Stanley Tucci gives a wonderfully understated performance as Adolf Eichmann.
Conspiracy is a carefully crafted, completely unsensational film that offers ample proof of the banality of evil. There are no histrionics and no comic-book Nazi villains, just a small group of politicians and war-weary soldiers arguing about the meaning of words and the logistics of extermination, calmly preparing to unleash an unimaginable horror on the world. --Simon Leake --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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From an historical perspective i found the following very interesting: Hitler based his party structure on a chaos theory in that he had simple overlapping functions, so that his subordinates would always be engaged in in-fighting, instead of challenging him. It worked remarkably well. Here, in motion, the director shows the in-fighting, but on this part of domestic policy (internal to the Reich, at any rate) the decision was swift and unanimous, Heydrich alone held the power. Utterly intriguing.
What may make this more interesting for anyone, might be to read Hannah Arendt's account of Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem, which is published by Penguin.
The fate of eleven million European Jews was decided over a meal by several higher ups in the German government (although not Hitler). Led by Reinhard Heydrich (played brilliantly, as usual, by Kenneth Branagh) and his aide (play brilliantly, also as usual, by Stanley Tucci) as they explain the plan. They explain it so simply, as if they're building a house, and in a very intellegent manner. In fact, it has to be explained at some point in the conversation that "deportation" is just a fancy word for murder.
Many of those present do not agree with the methods, but not because they have sympathy for the Jews. One somber delegate thinks the Jews should be removed from common society, but that murder is too extreme. Another delegate objects to the plan...but only because he feels the procedures Heydrich draws up will contradict his already enforced anti-semite laws. In the end, it is revealed how it will be accomplished: by none other than the gas chambers of the concentration camps.
Like movies such as "My Dinner With Andre" or "12 Angry Men" this movie takes a storyline built entirely on dialogue and proves it can be fascinating.Read more ›
"Conspiracy" goes beyond the recreation of this infamous meeting for the 1984 documentary "The Wannsee Conference," both of which are based upon the lone surviving record of the gather of 15 Nazi officers head by General Reinhard Heydrich (Kenneth Branagh). Included in the group are Lt. Colonel Adolf Eichmann (Stanley Tucci) and Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart, Interior Ministry (Colin Firth), and within an hour they come up with their solution to the "Jewish question." However, this is a sense in "Conspiracy" that they are not so much debating what it to be done but being asked to sign on to the plan that Heydrich is revealing directly and indirectly throughout the meeting in his quest for "unanimity."
This time around the horror is in the details, as these men try to come up with the most efficient way of killing and disposing of that many people while one guy does the math.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Chilling and unforgettable. Branagh is outstanding as SS General Heydrich. A must see movie.Published 4 months ago by Jeremy Finn
An eerie insight into how years of propaganda and hatred can dehumanize not just the victims of the genocide but the perpetrators as well.Published 8 months ago by B. Kempin
I got this from Amazon when it first became available. I have watched it three times since then. That's a record for me.
You really really really want to see this movie. Read more
I can't say I love it because of the content but it is a good story. One wonders how these real people turned out to decide this genocide and in such a short time. Read morePublished 13 months ago by M. Harding
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