Georg Elser (played by Christian Friedel) was a clock maker/furniture maker who had taken a job in an armament factory. He planted sticks of explosive and an intricate mechanical timer in a hollowed-out pillar to bring the roof down in the Munich hall in which Adolf Hitler was due to speak.
And so the Criminal Police and Gestapo began a gruesome game of searching for facts that never existed. If the Führer wanted to know who inspired the plot, he need only have looked in the mirror. Yet those who detained the clock-maker struggled to believe he had the means or the motive to carry off the attack alone.
Police chief: “We can’t get any more out of him than the truth.”
Gestapo chief: “We make the truth.”
“If humanity dies, everything dies with it.”
War was macho, and like the secretary who sits reading a book outside the interrogation room during the worst of Elser’s torture, the experiences of the German women featured in the film were shaped by men.
Elser believed he would prevent even greater bloodshed through his lethal deed. Asked by an interrogator what right he had to take the lives of the seven innocent people caught in the Munich blast, by a tragic coincidence Elser ended his days incarcerated in Dachau concentration camp.
13 Minutes will be screened in the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast between Friday 14 and Thursday 20 August. Let me know what you think of 13 Minutes if you see it.
Theeb and The Diary of a Teenage Girl are also running in the QFT from this weekend.
Warning: 13 Minutes contains scenes of torture as well as accordion playing that could scare away the bogeyman and a buzzing fly that really shows off a cinema’s surround sound.