domingo, junho 07, 2009

429) A Conspiracao: o filme sobre a solucao final dos nazistas contra os judeus

April 05, 2001
Film Is A Dramatic Reconstruction Of The 90-Minute Meeting That Set In Motion The Details Of Hitler's Final Solution

Directed By Frank Pierson From A Script By Loring Mandel, Drama Also Stars David Threlfall And Colin Firth

On January 20, 1942, 15 men gathered in a villa on the outskirts of Berlin for a clandestine meeting that would ultimately seal the fate of the European Jewish population. Ninety minutes later, the blueprint for Hitler's Final Solution was in place.

Adolf Eichmann prepared 30 top-secret copies of the meeting's minutes. By the fall of the Reich, all had disappeared or been destroyed — except one. The Wannsee Protocol, found in the files of the Reich's Foreign Office, is the only document where the details of Hitler's maniacal plan were actually codified, and serves as the basis for CONSPIRACY.

Starring Kenneth Branagh (Academy Award® nominee for 1996's "Hamlet" and 1989's "Henry V") and Stanley Tucci (Emmy® and Golden Globe winner for HBO's "Winchell"), CONSPIRACY recreates one of the most infamous gatherings in world history, the meeting at Wannsee, when the German High Command was mobilized by Reinhard Heydrich to implement their unthinkable plan — the extermination of the Jews.

Debuting SATURDAY, MAY19 at 9:00 p.m. (ET), the HBO Films presentation also stars David Threlfall (HBO's "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story") and Colin Firth ("Bridget Jones' Diary").

Other playdates: May 22 (1:00 p.m.), 27 (12:15 p.m., 11:00 p.m.) and 31 (2:30 p.m., 11:55 p.m.), and June 4 (10:00 a.m.,8:00 p.m.), 9 (5:30 p.m.) and 13 (5:15 p.m.).

Directed by Frank Pierson (Academy Award® for writing 1975's "Dog Day Afternoon"; director of HBO's "Truman" and "Citizen Cohn"), CONSPIRACY is an HBO Films presentation and a co-production with BBC Films. The executive producers are Pierson, Frank Doelger (Emmy® for HBO's "A Child Betrayed: The Calvin Mire Story") and Peter Zinner (Academy Award® for editing 1978's "The Deer Hunter"); the producer is Nick Gillot ("Jakob the Liar"); the script is by Loring Mandel ("The Little Drummer Girl"). Jonathan Krauss, vice president, HBO Films, is the executive in charge of the film.

Director Frank Pierson's goal in filming CONSPIRACY was not to create a traditional dramatization of history, but to present a close approximation of actually being there, as if it were a live event.

"The camera was never above or below eye level," Pierson explains. "The film required the presence of all 15 actors for the entire length of production. All of our actors were experienced in rehearsing, which is a technique in itself and is very seldom done in movies — at least not in the sense of having extended rehearsals where we get into long, sometimes 10-minute takes. The actors had an opportunity to truly act as an ensemble rather than how movies are traditionally made, which is breaking everything up into a few lines at a time and later assembling the performances in the editing room. It has been an absolute glory to work in this way with this cast, and a glory for the actors because they got to really, truly sculpt and work out a performance."

In keeping with the spirit of the production, the actors used their regular speaking voices rather than German accents, which Pierson and the cast felt would have interfered with the immediacy of the performances, distracting audiences from the emotional truth of the material.

For Kenneth Branagh, playing Reinhard Heydrich was not only a challenge, but one of the most disturbing experiences of his nearly 20-year acting career. "Even amongst a group of men who committed the most extraordinary crimes, Heydrich was unique for the ferocity and the cruelty of what he did, and the ruthless efficiency with which he did it," Branagh notes. "In my preparation I thoroughly researched Heydrich, but I found that when it came down to playing him, the 'inner' man seemed invisible.

"Our scriptwriter, Loring Mandel, tried to do a psychological profile of Heydrich, looking for elements of behavior that may not appeal but perhaps lend to understanding his character, whether it be hatred of parents, a childhood trauma, some physical or mental disability, something that might illuminate his motives. Nothing seemed to make conventional psychological sense. His utter lack of compassion, lack of pity, revealed a man who has a buried conscience and as a result, seems to be soulless.

"Playing such a character, I didn't want to say the lines, I didn't want to be connected to this moral vacuum that seems to be the man himself. He was an absolutely extraordinary mind, a fantastic manager, but also an absolutely ghastly human being. There is something purely evil about him that is absolutely repellent and I'll be very happy not to wear his uniform or play him ever again. Despite this, the ultimate message of this movie and the necessity for doing it seem to me to be immensely positive and important."

Stanley Tucci had an equally tough time playing Adolf Eichmann, famously described by Hannah Arendt as epitomizing the "banality of evil." Tucci explains, "Even at the end of the war, when Himmler said to him, 'Let's just stop this, let's put an end to the concentration camps,' and so on, Eichmann kept it going. His personal technique with people was to be more silkily persuasive, and he often played the card of self-deprecation and modesty. He was different in that way from Heydrich.

"There were a lot of Germans at the time who did what Eichmann did, but either they didn't get caught or were killed before they were brought to trial. This [Nuremberg] was the first Nazi trial to be televised, so I think that had a huge impact on people and is why Eichmann is such a well-known player."

Colin Firth (Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart) believes the subject matter of CONSPIRACY is a timely topic, serving as a reminder that something so evil once occurred, as well as a mirror for current events. "I am reading a book about Rwanda at the moment, and it is remarkable to me how many parallels there are," he says. "The Balkans might be a more fitting comparison, but nevertheless the attacks by machete in Rwanda were not performed by frenzied mobs and not necessarily by tribesmen. The people who were committing these murders were doctors, parish priests, research scientists and all sorts of other professional people.

"It seems more removed to us; it doesn't feel like the industrialized society of Germany in the '30s, but it is much closer than you might think. They weren't doing it in the spirit of passion, but because they felt it was necessary and that their lives would not be better until they got rid of an entire race of people. The same sort of normalization of what is absolutely unthinkable is still happening today."

David Threlfall, who plays Friedrich Kritzinger agrees. "This movie takes 90 minutes to watch, and it took just a little longer for the actual meeting at Wannsee to take place. Think about that. It took just a little longer to make a decision over a few drinks and some food to set about completely eradicating a whole race of people. There are people alive who still believe that can be achieved."

CONSPIRACY was filmed on location at Shepperton Studios in London, with exterior filming at Wannsee, Germany, at the actual site where the meeting took place. Now called the House of the Wannsee Conference, the former mansion serves as a memorial and education center, which was formally inaugurated on the 50th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference in January 1992.

January 20, 1942. Inside an ornate mansion in Wannsee, on the outskirts of Berlin, SS major Adolf Eichmann (Stanley Tucci) oversees a phalanx of butlers and adjutants. Their task is to prepare a sumptuous buffet and bar for a group of Nazis expected for a top-secret meeting. One by one, high-ranking members of the Third Reich — some in SS uniforms, some in non-military government outfits, others in civilian clothes — arrive in chauffeured vehicles. The last of the 15 to arrive, and the one with the biggest limousine, is Reinhard Heydrich (Kenneth Branagh), director of Reich Security Main Office and head of the Protectorate. Entering the reception hall, Heydrich commands instant respect among the guests: He's the highest-ranking member of this group, and has been appointed by Reichmarshal Göring to initiate this meeting and map out the details of a "final solution" to Germany's Jewish "problem."

After initial pleasantries that sort out the group's pecking order, the men move into a huge meeting room and take seats around a lavishly appointed table. With a stenographer in place to take notes (his input will be carefully monitored by Eichmann, who is Heydrich's deputy), the group gets down to business. After each member introduces himself, Heydrich gets to the point, observing, "We've a storage problem in Germany with these Jews...We're going to cleanse the continent of Jews without respect to national boundaries." This latest initiative is a kind of addendum to the "Nuremberg Laws" enacted by the Nazis in 1935, devised in part by one of the Wannsee attendees, State Secretary of the Interior Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart (Colin Firth). Those laws proclaimed the legality of a Jewish-free society and economy, and paved the way for the "physical eradication" of Jews from German living spaces.

Heydrich explains that the original German idea of resettling Jews makes no sense with Germany at war; not only are there millions more Russian Jews to deal with on the Eastern front, but Germany simply can't spare their valuable ships to transport Jews. Furthermore, it is noted that Jewish refugees might very well sign on with enemy armies once they've left home. According to Heydrich, the best solution isn't emigration, but evacuation. Deputy Commander Rudolph Lange (Barnaby Kay), who supervised the killing of 30,000 Jews at Riga, reveals that evacuation is simply a euphemism for extermination, even if Jews will initially be evacuated to ghettos and concentration camps.

As the meeting progresses, some attendees, including Josef Bühler (Ben Daniels), secretary of state of the general government of German-occupied Poland, and Friedrich Kritzinger (David Threlfall), ministerial director of the Reich Chancellery, are uncomfortable with the authority shown by Heydrich. They're also upset that emerging details of the Final Solution are only just now being revealed to them. Yet, with the deftness of a master politician, Heydrich defuses tense confrontations by taking several prudent breaks for drinks and lunch. There's nothing like booze and food to temper a foul mood.

Erich Neumann (Jonathan Coy), who repeatedly identifies himself as "Director, Office of the Four-Year Plan," argues that exterminating millions of Jews will create a void in the German work force and end up hurting the economy. The others scoff at this idea, declaring that most Jews don't know how to do manual labor, and are in fact a drain on the economy. Far more attention is paid instead to a ludicrous, and convoluted, argument about who is in fact a Jew, and whether or not a "mixed blood person," of which there are several types, is entitled to a special "exemption" in which case he or she should still be sterilized, or simply should be evacuated with the rest of the Jews. Dr. Stuckart in particular objects to these plans as "unworkable," adding, "Some things you cannot do."

Shelving for the time being the idea of who is and is not a Jew — there are in fact whispers that Heydrich himself may have mixed blood running through his veins — the group now addresses, with increasing openness, the plans by which Germany will purge all Jews from he continent. After Eichmann reads out the numbers of Jews known to live in German-occupied countries, as well as those in countries like England and America, which they believe will soon be under Nazi control, Heydrich outlines the Reich's plan to mass-exterminate Jews using carbon monoxide or cyanide gas.

Although mobile gas trucks capable of killing small batches of people are a short-term solution, far more efficient will be the permanent gas chambers that are currently under construction at Belzec, with others planned for Sobibór and possibly Treblinka. (Auschwitz will be proposed later.) In fact, says Heydrich with a touch of pride, a "T-4" euthanasia program (in which gas chambers are disguised as showers) has already been implemented with great success on more than 70,000 mental patients at several facilities.

By the end of the meeting, which lasts less than two hours, it's obvious that Heydrich is not proposing a final solution to the Jewish problem; he's telling the group that such a solution is already in place. Indeed, on the issues of concentration camps, gas chambers and crematoriums, there can be no debate. With a unanimous consensus supporting the final solution, Heydrich concludes, "History will mark us for having the vision and the gift and the will to advance the human race to greater purity in a space of time so short that Charles Darwin would be astonished."

Their meeting adjourned, the group disperses, setting out to implement what will be the wholesale slaughtering of millions of Jews. Several participants mill around the mansion before departing, grabbing a last-minute drink or bite to eat. After giving guests until the end of the day to memorize their notes before burning them, Heydrich orders Eichmann to supervise the transcription of the stenographer's notes, pass edits to him, then make 30 copies of the edited transcript. Only one of these 30 copies will survive the end of the war.

Having tied up all the loose ends, Eichmann has a celebratory drink with Heydrich and chief of Gestapo Heinrich Müller (Brenden Coyle) before his two superiors depart. He then bids farewell to the last guest at Wannsee: Gerhard Klopfer (Ian McNeice) of the party chancellery, who has partaken more than his fair share of food and drink that afternoon. Klopfer's parting words: "You do know how to throw a party."

The meeting has ended, but the Final Solution has just begun.

Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann invited 13 high-ranking government officials to Wannsee to ensure their cooperation in the escalation of the "Final Solution" against the Jews. The 15 participants, with their ranks at the time of the Conference, were:

* Dr. Josef Bühler — State Secretary in the General Government of Occupied Poland.
* SS Lt. Col. Adolf Eichmann — head of SS Jewish Affairs office.
* Dr. Roland Freisler — State Secretary in the Justice Ministry, later known as the "Hanging Judge"; SA brigadier general.
* SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich — No. 2 to Himmler as head of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) and its Security Service (SS); chief of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
* SS Lt. Gen. Otto Hofmann — Chief of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office (RuSHA).
* SS Col. Dr. Gerhard Klopfer — State Secretary of the Party Chancellery, directly under Martin Bormann.
* Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Kritzinger — State Secretary of the Reich Chancellery, directly under Hans Lammers.
* SS Major Dr. Rudolf Lange — Commander of the Security Police and SD for Latvia and deputy to the commander for the task forces (Einsatzkommandos) in the Occupied Eastern Territories (Ostland).
* Dr. Georg Leibrandt — Chief of the political division for the Occupied Eastern Territories (Ostland).
* Martin Luther — Under State Secretary of the Reich Foreign Office and Heydrich's main operative there.
* Dr. Alfred Meyer — District leader (Gauleiter) in the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories (Ostland); undersecretary to the Ministry's chief, Alfred Rosenberg, with responsibility for its political, administrative and economic departments.
* SS Maj. Gen. Heinrich Müller — Chief of the Gestapo, reporting to Heydrich.
* Dr. Erich Neumann — State Secretary in the Office of the Four-Year Plan, reporting to Göring.
* SS Col. Karl Eberhard Schöngarth — Commander of the Security Police and Security Service in the General Government of Occupied Poland.
* Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart — State Secretary of the Reich Ministry for the Interior; and co-author of the Nuremberg Laws.

* Note: With the conquering of Poland, the Baltics and portions of the Soviet Union, the Reich divided and administered the territory roughly as follows: The western third of Poland was incorporated into the Greater Reich.
* The central portion of Poland was administered as the General Government, under Hans Frank.
* The eastern portion of Poland, the Baltics, White Russia and Ukraine were grouped as the Occupied Eastern Territories ("Ostland"), under Alfred Rosenberg.

Kenneth Branagh (Reinhard Heydrich) has received four Academy Award® nominations, for his screenplay for "Hamlet," for his live-action short film "Swan Song," and for directing and starring in "Henry V." His direction of "Henry V" also garnered him the BAFTA Film Award, the National Board of Review Award and the New York Film Critics Circle Award. Branagh starred in, directed, wrote and produced "Love's Labour's Lost" and "Much Ado About Nothing"; starred in, directed and wrote "Hamlet" and "Henry V"; starred in, directed and produced "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" and "Peter's Friends"; and directed and wrote "A Midwinter's Tale." His other acting credits include "Wild Wild West," "The Theory of Flight," "Celebrity," "Othello," "Swing Kids," "Peter's Friends," "Dead Again," which he also directed, and the animated feature "The Road to El Dorado."

Stanley Tucci (Adolph Eichmann) won an Emmy® and Golden Globe Award for playing the title role of HBO's "Winchell." He starred in, directed, wrote and produced "The Imposters" and "Big Night," which won him a Best New Director Award from the New York Film Critics Circle and a screenwriting award from the Sundance Film Festival. Tucci also recently starred in, directed and produced "Joe Gould's Secret." His other acting credits include "In Too Deep," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Deconstructing Harry," "The Daytrippers," "It Could Happen to You," "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle," "The Pelican Brief" and "Billy Bathgate." Tucci's latest films include "Big Trouble," "Scottsboro: An American Tragedy," "Sidewalks of New York" and "The Whole Shebang." He was recently seen on the TV series "Bull."

David Threlfall's (Friedrich Kritzinger) TV credits include "Diana: Her True Story," "Mary, Mother of Jesus" and HBO's "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story." He was also seen in the films "The Russia House" and "Patriot Games."

Colin Firth (Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart) includes "Shakespeare in Love," "The English Patient," "Bridget Jones' Diary," "Valmont" and "Apartment Zero" among his many film credits. On TV, he appeared in HBO's "Hostages."

Frank Pierson (director) won an Academy Award® and a Writers Guild of America Screen Award for his original screenplay for "Dog Day Afternoon." He also received Academy Award® nominations for his screenplays for "Cool Hand Luke" and "Cat Ballou." Pierson's HBO directing credits include "Truman," which won the 1996 Emmy® for Outstanding Made-for-TV Movie, "Citizen Cohn" and "Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture"; among his other TV directing credits are "Dirty Pictures," "Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." Pierson also directed and wrote the feature films "A Star Is Born" and "King of the Gypsies." His other writing credits include "Copycat," "Presumed Innocent," "In Country," "Haywire," "The Anderson Tapes," "The Looking Glass War" and "The Happening."

Producer Nick Gillot's film credits include "Jakob the Liar" and "Back to the Secret Garden." His TV productions include HBO's "Rasputin," "The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank" and "Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After."

Executive producer Frank Doelger's previous HBO credits include the Emmy® winners "A Child Betrayed: The Calvin Mire Story" and "Dead Drunk," as well as the Emmy®-nominated "Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster" and "Public Law 106: The Becky Bell Story." Among his other TV credits are "Remember WENN" and "Lethal Innocence."

Executive producer Peter Zinner's credits include "The Deer Hunter," which brought him an Academy Award® for editing, as well as "The Godfather," "The Godfather Part II," "A Star Is Born," "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Saving Grace" and "Gladiator." For TV he also produced "The Winds of War," "The Enemy Within" and "War and Remembrance."

Writer Loring Mandel has more than 40 TV credits, among them the Emmy®-winning "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," "Project Immortality," "The Coming Asunder of Jimmy Bright" and "Breaking Up." His feature films include "Countdown," "Promises in the Dark" and "The Little Drummer Girl."

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2 comentários:

Cecilia disse...

This is cool!

Anônimo disse...

I Watched it last month! I loved it! Very... very good! All the characters did a exceptional work! Fantastic!!!