This portrayal of Adolf Hitler's final days is based on the memoirs of Traudl Junge, the young secretary who was with him until his death. Holed up in a bunker in Berlin, Hitler spends his last days vacillating between paranoia and defiance.
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- Oliver Hirschbiegel
- This movie is
- 2005 Academy Award®
- Best Foreign Language Film nominee
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Downfall tells the story of the last days in Hitler's bunker, contrasting between the increasingly violent bombings outside in Berlin, and the panicked scramble of those in Hitler's inner circle as they realize their grip on power is slipping. There is a relentlessly graphic pace of explosions, murders, suicides, and bloodshed, and one particularly macabre scene of six children being poisoned by their mother. Though the film is considered largely historically accurate and provides a great deal of insight into the nature of war and power, it's not without controversy for the accusations that it portrays evil too sympathetically by attempting to humanize it. Best viewed by very mature teens who've studied World War 2, have prior understanding of the Holocaust, and are prepared to ponder complex questions about what is among the darkest, most brutal events in human history.
- Sexual Content
- In multiple scenes, women are shown topless. In one scene, a woman is shown naked on a bed, presumably after intercourse.
- The film contains a near-relentless pace of wartime atrocities and their accompanying bloodshed, including bombs, explosions, dead bodies, graphic murders, and nearly a dozen suicides by gunshot, multiple scenes of execution-style deaths by individuals or death squads, piles of severed limbs, limbs being sawed off to amputate, and several graphic scenes of poison by cyanide capsule, gunshots to the mouth or head, and a mass grave of burned corpses, sometimes including those of children. There are multiple scenes in which people are dragged to be hanged, or shown hanged. In what is a particularly sickening scene, a woman gives her six children liquid morphine to drink, then feeds them cyanide capsules in their sleep. Additionally, a dog is given a cyanide capsule to test its efficacy, and is heard dropping to the floor (but not shown).
- Language is harsh and macabre, with multiple explicit references to killing or murdering those believed to be traitors to Nazi Germany with phrases such as "slit their throats, "drown in their own blood," or "put a bullet in their head."
- Social Behavior
- In spite of the incredibly bleak subject matter, there is a sense of hopefulness that such reigns of terror inevitably cannot last, that there can be good people even among the horrors of war, that there is a kind of humanity even in the worst among us.
- Not applicable
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- Casual smoking is seen throughout the film. Drinking is a constant presence, either in scenes of debauched, end-times partying, to steel one's reserve in the face of horror, or to dull the pain of injury or surrender.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it