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12 Nov 2015

Punishing Their Own: Nazi War Criminals Are Brought to Justice in 'Labyrinth of Lies'

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Alexander Fehling in Labyrinth of Lies. Alexander Fehling in Labyrinth of Lies.

Alexander Fehling gives a good performance in Labyrinth of Lies, as Johann, a young German lawyer attempting to bring Nazi war criminals to justice in the early 1960s.

Director Giulio Ricciarelli’s film depicts a Germany in denial, with many people oblivious to the crimes committed in Auschwitz during the war.

Johann (a composite of real lawyers who worked on the case) goes through a series of revelations, some of them very personal, as he investigates the likes of Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann. The movie succumbs to some formulaic romantic elements, and a visit to Auschwitz is quite odd, but the film retains its power thanks to Fehling and an intermittently strong script.

Some elements of the film are actually very surprising; it’s interesting to see a film on this subject told from the German perspective. After the war, many Nazis roamed Germany in plain sight. It took many years for the country to start punishing their own. 

Labyrinth of Lies is now playing at the Camelot Theatres (2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs; 760-325-6565).

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