We like to remind ourselves that people stood up to the Nazi party. That’s why we get movies like Anthropoid, Valkyrie, and Schindler’s List rather routinely, showing us the brave few who put their lives on the line to stop a massacre.
The problem with these movies is that the flip side of history always lingers in the background, with people who put their heads down or actively participated in the genocide filling the screen. This widespread apathy is something we seem unable to forget, and so we revisit the more palatable stories from that time, perhaps looking for absolution.
Science has taken stabs at understanding why people behaved the way they did when under Nazi rule, and the results haven’t been comforting. If anything, it’s been shown that those willing to rebel in such situations are the minority, making these continuously produced resistance films justifiable. Anthropoid is, after all, about a Czech resistance group tasked with killing one of the top-ranking Nazi officers, but even when you look at a situation like this, what is good isn’t always clear.
There have been films that take on the moral ambiguity of resistance fighters before. The Army of Shadows is perhaps the most well-regarded, and while Anthropoid likely won’t come close to that film’s deep exploration, the true story it’s pulling from should lead to some dark corners. I doubt this will be a straightforward movie, and in doing so it may be a bit more honest about the morality of the era.
Anthropoid is directed by Sean Ellis and stars Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy. It will be released in the U.S. on August 12th, 2016 and in the U.K. on September 9th, 2016. For international release dates, click here.
Do you think we need more films about Nazi resistance fighters? Let us know in the comments!
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