Before the Fall

2004 [GERMAN]

Action / Drama / Sport / Thriller / War

IMDb Rating 7.4 10 14451

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 03, 2020 at 02:35 AM



Max Riemelt as Friedrich Weimer
Tom Schilling as Albrecht Stein
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.03 GB
German 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 2 / 4
2.11 GB
German 5.1
24 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 2 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 8 / 10

A Nutshell Review: Napola - Elite für den Führer

Napola refers to elite military National-Political Schools, set up to train promising young German talents into potential future leaders for the Third Reich - Man makes History, but Napola makes the Man. Set at the peak of Hitler's Nazi regime in 1942, this film explores the very different lives of two youths enrolled in such a school, and exposes some of the difficult training programme that these youths are put through.

Friedrich Weimer graduated as a Hitler youth, and spends time juggling work with boxing. Impressing a talent scout with his boxing skills, he gets recruited into one of the Napola schools, to be trained as an athlete to bring the school glory. Coming from a poor home, he sees this as a chance to bring wealth for this family, although they disagree with his joining the Napola.

Albrecht Stein is the son of the governor. What he lacked in the brawn department, he makes up with his gift for the written word, which often goes unappreciated, even with his parents.

Two youths from different backgrounds bond together as good friends, as they undergo the tough regimental training the school has to offer. At times, it's like Dead Poet's Society in a WWII German military setting, where they challenge and subtly question the establishment and their methods. Even though the school is made up of a recruited pool of the privileged few, basic evils of man persists, like corruption and jealous rivalry.

The different subplots and set action pieces unravel our protagonists' characters, and we see them develop in depth. From a wide-eyed promising talent, we journey with Friedrich as he slowly comes to terms with evaluating if one should sell out one's beliefs for fame and wealth, blinding the disappointment faced in the system. Albrecht, while meek looking, held on to his ideals, especially after a sad episode in the fields, and when being forced into a corner to renounce this ideal, found untold courage to actually do what he did, at the expense of everything else - friendship, family.

Which brings us to question, how many of us, if knowing what's right, will do the right thing, or take the easy way out and turn our backs towards the truth? We are also exposed to the highly fanatical training methods of the Nazis, of showing no pity, and signs of cowardice are treasonous.

Those who've undergone some form of army training will appreciate the nature of military training - from the physical exercises, punishments, and stand-by-bunks, to the bonding of bunk mates and "suffering" under the hands of sadistic superiors.

It is no surprise that Napola won various awards for film, acting and direction, It's rich cinematography and haunting soundtrack brings to life Nazi Germany of 1942, and highlighting the horrors of the training of an elitist school of soldiers and future governors, with its expected training tragedies.

This is a movie with powerful themes, with an introspective look at the development of man under difficult fanatical regimes revealed in a moving drama.

Reviewed by singinuall 10 / 10

extremely touching film

I saw this film once, and needed to return once more to see it again. This film touched my heart in a way that very few others have. Max Riemelt and Tom Schilling give one of the most convincing and stellar performances I have ever seen. Their chemistry on screen is such that the audience becomes fully engaged in their emotion and in their situation. Their heart-wrenching performance is illuminated by director Dennis Gansel's artistic genius. There are breathtaking shots of German landscape and scenery. There are angles and shots throughout the movie that remain very close to you long after the movie is finished. The story is a very vivid reminder of the horrors that man is capable of producing. This German film is a reminder of that horror, but also reminds us that there is innocence within that horror. If anything, this film depicted young men who were stripped of their innocence. Some gave in to the horror, while our heroes fought against it. For those who are lovers of the German language, you will hear no finer dialogue and range of speech than in this incredible work. I urge anyone and everyone to see this film.

Reviewed by ridwane 9 / 10

Deserves Academy Award for Best Foreign Film

I just watched Napola at the Montreal World Film Festival and I was pleasantly surprised. This choice of a random movie turned out to be a real cinematographic gem.

Set during World War II, this movie is about the dilemma and choices of some German teenagers who attend a napola - a special institution for gifted boys to turn them into the Nazi elite. Their days consist of military training and indoctrination; they are forced to lose all pity and become ruthless servants of the Fuhrer.

The story follows the entrance of Friedrich into a napola, the changes that he undergoes and the choices that he makes. Admitted because of his boxing skills, he seizes it as an opportunity to escape his poor working class situation. His best friend at the napola is the Governor's son - sensitive, caring, humane and opposed to Nazi dogma, he is obviously in the wrong place but has no choice but to fulfill his dad's wishes. As their friendship develops, Friedrich struggles between the ideology that the napola is forcing upon him and his friend's pacific beliefs.

This powerful film with excellent acting culminates on the boxing ring as Friedrich fights against the champion from another napola. The scene of the morning practice on the frozen lake left me breathless, while the ending of the grenade throwing session shook me with its passion, despair, and horror.

Another reason why I liked this movie so much is that it is made by Germans; indeed one would expect Hollywood to come up with such a story and that the outcome would be a highly emotional melodrama. I could feel the director disagreeing strongly with the Nazis, but rather than feeling shameful for what his countrymen did 60 years ago, he denounced it. Indeed, Friedrich's ultimate choice should be the choice of the new Germany.

My rating: 9/10

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