Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Sean Paul Murphy, Writer
Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Monday, June 21, 2010

Films Worth Seeing: Conspiracy (2001)

(This is the first in a series of recommendations of worthy but little seen films.)



"Conspiracy" consists, essentially, of a group of men sitting around a table talking.  That's normally a kiss of death for a film.  To succeed, a lot depends on the conversation, and, in this case, the conversation revolves around the best and most efficient way to murder all of the Jews in Europe.

"Conspiracy" is based on the sole remaining transcript of The Wannsee Conference, where the heads of various branches of the German government and military gathered together to plan and initiate the Final Solution.  This film is a re-enactment of perhaps the single most evil and shameful two hours in the history of Western civilization.   Many people foolishly equate prejudice and hatred with ignorance.  Not so, as this film clearly illustrates.  The men sitting around that table were all intelligent and well educated.  Most had college degrees.  Many had advanced degrees.  Of the fifteen participants in the Conference, shockingly, only four of them truly voice any opposition to the plan.  Even then, only one of them, Wilhelm Kritzinger, played by David Threlfall, offers anything close to moral outrage one would expect from a normal human being.  However, in the end, they all agree to the plan put forth by SS General Reinhard Heydrich, played by Kenneth Branagh. 

The film was produced by HBO and the BBC.  It was directed by the Academy-Award winning screenwriter Frank Pierson.  He won the Oscar for "Dog Day Afternoon" and was nominated for "Cat Ballou" and "Cool Hand Luke."   The film was written by the multi-Emmy-Award winning and nominated writer Loring Mandel.  He won an Emmy for this film.

The script is extremely well-written and well-researched.  The use of language comes as a rare treat to the ears.  With Hollywood's emphasis today on action and words that are easily translated into the global marketplace,  it is unusual to find any film today that features so much intelligent conversation between educated, albeit evil, people.

Well worth a look.  Check it out.

Here it is the trailer:






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