Downfall

Downfall

Movie: Downfall
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Produced by: ARD Degato, Bernd Eichinger, Constantin Films, EOS Productions, ORF, RAI Cinema
Released By: Newmarket Films
MPAA Rating: R

The last ten days of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime are seen through the eyes of a young woman in his employ in this historical drama from Germany. Traudl Junge was 22 years old when, in the fall of 1942, she was hired to be personal secretary to Adolf Hitler. In April of 1945, Junge was still working for Hitler as forces were bearing down on Germany and the leader retreated to a secret bunker in Berlin for what would prove to be the last ten days of his life, as well as that of the Third Reich. As Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun attempts to throw a cheerful birthday party for her man, Hitler’s closest associates, including Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels, and Albert Speer, urge him to flee the city with only Goebbels maintaining any illusions that the Third Reich has any hope of survival. Hitler refuses to leave Berlin, and he spends his final days ranting and raving to Junge, blaming all around him as he tries to understand where his leadership went wrong. Meanwhile, Goebbels and his wife round up their six children and bring them to the bunker as Berlin begins to topple, determined to take their lives rather than face the Allies after Germany’s certain defeat. Der Untergang was based in part on the memoirs of the real-life Traudl Junge, whose experiences also formed the basis of the 2002 documentary Im Toten Winkel: Hitlers Sekretarin.

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