Berlin 1942. Friedrich, is a sixteen-year old amateur boxer from a working class family who dreams of doing something with his life. His big chance comes when he’s discovered at a boxing match by a young man who teaches at an elite Nazi National Political School (a.k.a. Napola). The young man helps Friedrich to enter the institution, and there becomes Friedrich’s mentor, guiding him through the rigors of the strictly run school. Among Friedrich’s new friends is Albrecht, the son of a high-ranking official. A fragile young man who prefers to train his mind rather than his body, Albrecht is critical of the Nazi ideology being crammed into the students’ minds. Friedrich starts to see that there is no room here for anyone unwilling to follow the party line. After the students are forced to take part in a nighttime massacre of unarmed Russian youths in the nearby woods, Albrecht writes an essay condemning the Germans’ barbarity. Friedrich knows that his best friend is on a collision course with the authorities, but is powerless to change his mind. When Albrecht’s father forces his son to take back his words, Albrecht, instead, refuses—and accepts the consequences. Devastated, Friedrich vows to avenge his friend’s fate, even if it means losing everything he’s fought for and abandoning his dream of a better life. –Inbasline
Dennis Gansel (born October 4, 1973) is a film director, writer and actor from Germany.
Born in 1973 in Hannover, Germany, Dennis Gansel studied at Munich Film School HFF. Gansel is best known for directing The Wave; his following project was the vampire film We Are The Night, which stars Karoline Herfurth, Nina Hoss, Jennifer Ulrich, Anna Fischer and Max Riemelt.
Other than directing, Gansel has also tried acting. He has had several small roles in his own movies as wells as others.
Gansel frequently casts Max Riemelt in his films and frequently works with editor Jochen Retter and composer/musician Heiko Maile. His favourite director is Sidney Pollack. —Wikipedia
I liked a lot of this film, but there were several parts that I thought were a little overdone. (Ice swim scene in particular) When dealing with this sort of subject matter I feel the drama is already there. Pushing it to the next level with slow motion and sad time music makes it a bit over the top (imo) , it often breaks my concentration. But as i said there is still quite a bit to like.