Sophie Scholl (a committed, intelligent, idealistic Julia Jentsch) is a young German woman dedicated to bringing down the Third Reich.
It's 1943, the Germans are losing untold numbers of their men in Stalingrad, the news has leaked into Germany about the Final Solution and the young and college educated are risking their lives and that of their families by distributing leaflets all over Europe discrediting the War and Hitler...which is considered a death penalty offense.
Sophie and her brother Hans (Fabian Hinrichs) are caught and arrested and the bulk of the film deals with Sophie's interrogation by a government functionary, Robert Mohr (a sleazy, squirrelly Alexander Held).
For several days and until her brother Hans confesses, Sophie holds her own and even betters Mohr. Julia Jentsch is extremely effective in portraying Scholl's idealism and burning intelligence. Her Sophie is a leader, a firebrand: someone who accepts the consequences of her actions without remorse and without pointing fingers towards anyone but herself.
Too much of what Mohr spouts is pedantic, Nazi drivel whereas Sophie's responses are likewise pedantic, pie-in-the-sky and emotional. What makes their exchanges interesting is that they are based on official Gestapo records available only since German reunification. Despite all of this or maybe because of it, these interrogation scenes crackle with fire and truth: both Sophie and Mohr fully committed to their cause.
"Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage" along with the recent "Downfall" are more important as social statements rather than artistic ones. They are both shining examples of a country facing its past squarely in the face and recognizing and releasing its collective ghosts and demons: the first step towards redemption.