April 1945, a nation awaits its... Downfall
Not since G.W. Pabst's 1956 effort, Letste Akt (The Last Act) has a German film attempted to tackle the subject of their most famous leader, Adolf Hitler. Breaking a long-standing taboo, the director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, has made a film that has sparked much debate in Germany and the rest of the world.
Downfall features an astonishing performance by Bruno Ganz as history's most notorious figure. Providing an unprecedented and controversial insider's perspective, the film is a gripping insight into the madness and desperation of Hitler in the final hours of the war as the Russian Army closes a ring around Berlin. Beautifully photographed and brilliantly acted, this tour de force is at once dramatic, harrowing and remarkably authentic.
The basis for the screenplay by writer-producer Bernd Eichinger came from two key sources: Joachim Fest's book Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of The Third Reich, the recognition that the horrifying epic of Hitler and his people during his twelve years in power was reflected in those last twelve days in the bunker; and the memoirs of Hitler's private secretary, Traudl Junge, in Melissa Mueller's book, Until The Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary, which provided an invaluable insight into the character of the man, and those final, fatal few days of the war.