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May 5-9, 2006

Michael Verhoeven: Three Films

This program is co-presented with the Goethe Institut Boston, the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University and  the National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University who will present additional screenings of Michael Verhoeven’s work as part of Jewishfilm.2006. Please visit www.jewishfilm.org for more information.


May 5 (Friday) 7 pm
May 6 (Saturday) 9 pm

The Nasty Girl

Directed by Michael Verhoeven
West Germany 1989, b/w and color, 94 min.
With Lena Stoltze, Hans-Reinhard Müller, Monika Baumgartner
German with English subtitles

After a Bavarian schoolgirl writes an award-winning essay that earns her a trip to Paris she decides to follow up her efforts with a piece on the history of her town. In the process, she discovers some nasty secrets about her forefathers and their complicity with the Nazis. Despite the hostility and ostracism she and her family experience, she remains undeterred in her pursuit of the village’s darkest secrets. Verhoeven’s clever use of visual techniques, such as rear-screen projection, provides an ironic commentary on the facade of normalcy projected by Germany at the end of the Cold War. The Nasty Girl was based on the writings of Anja Rosmus, a young writer who discovered direct links to Hitler and Eichmann in her hometown of Passau.

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May 5 (Friday) 9 pm
May 8 (Monday) 9 pm

The White Rose

Directed by Michael Verhoeven
West Germany 1983, color, 108 min.
With Lena Stolze, Wulf Kessler, Oliver Siebert
German with English subtitles

Lena Stolze (The Nasty Girl) stars in this acclaimed feature based on the true story of five German students and their professor who formed a secret society dedicated to protesting the Nazi regime. Known collectively as the "White Rose," the Munich-based group distributed anti-Hitler literature in a resistance effort which cost them their lives. Initially, the German government refused to allow the film to be shown abroad due to an epilogue which pointedly observed that the legal judgment condemning the White Rose society had never been rescinded. Ultimately, the political controversy surrounding Verhoeven's film directly caused the German government to officially invalidate the Nazi "People's Court" system that sentenced the group to death.
Film description courtesy of the National Center for Jewish Film.

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May 6 (Saturday) 7 pm
May 9 (Tuesday) 9:15 pm

My Mother’s Courage

Directed by Michael Verhoeven
Germany/ UK/ Austria/ Ireland 1995, color, 89 min.
With George Tabori, Pauline Collins, Ulrich Tukur
German with English subtitles

From Michael Verhoeven, director of the 1990 Academy Award-nominated film The Nasty Girl, comes this stunning film version of Hungarian author George Tabori’s play and novel. Shifting between Nazi-occupied Budapest and present-day Berlin, the film artfully depicts the true story of what happened to Tabori’s mother Elsa on a summer's day in 1944. Pauline Collins' stellar performance as Elsa, plucked from her everyday life and thrown into the surreal nightmare of mass deportation, affords an extraordinary account of one individual's escape from death juxtaposed with that of the millions who did not survive. Verhoeven’s satirical darkly humorous film about fate and human cruelty forges new ground in cinematic portrayals of the Holocaust.
Film description courtesy of the NationalCenter for Jewish Film.

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