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Film About Student Who Resisted Nazis
to Screen at UW-Eau Claire March 8-11

RELEASED: Feb. 22, 2007

scene from Sophie Scholl: The Final DaysEAU CLAIRE — "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" (Germany 2005) will screen March 8-11 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The true story of Germany's most famous anti-Nazi heroine, the film will be presented at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

The story takes place in 1943, as Hitler continues to wage war across Europe and a group of college students in Munich mounts an underground resistance movement. Dedicated expressly to the downfall of the monolithic Third Reich, the group calls itself 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, Scholl is cross-examined by the Gestapo — a three-day confrontation that quickly escalates into a searing test of wills.

Based on long-buried historical records of her arrest, interrogation, trial and sentence, "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" depicts the last six days (Feb. 17-22, 1943) in the life of Sophie Scholl from her own perspective: that of a courageous and vibrant young woman who is willing to face death for her belief in the ideals of the White Rose. Through their resistance and protest against the Nazi regime, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose have become synonymous with civil courage and a peaceful struggle against the rule of violence and oppression.

"The movie works, for the simple reason that, behind the talk-heavy flatness of its action and the stubborn demeanor of its heroine, it hoards a violence of feeling," wrote New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane. "You watch Sophie saying a brief farewell to her parents, unable to embrace properly over the table that divides them, and you want to drag the table away. You stare at the college janitor who rats on Sophie and Hans — picking up incriminating scraps of paper, falling over himself to please the Gestapo — and you feel sick with loathing. 'Sophie Scholl: The Final Days' may sound like a history lesson, but don't be fooled. It's a horror film."

An Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" received three Lolas (German Oscars) including the Audience Award and Best Actress award to Julia Jentsch for her powerful performance in the title role. The film also won two Silver Bears for Best Director (Marc Rothemund) and Best Actress at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival.

In German with English subtitles, the 117-minute film is not rated.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby and at the door.

The film is sponsored by the International Film Society.

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JS/NW

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