The Ninth Day

New York Premiere

Germany | 98 MINUTES | German |


Based on the real life experiences of a catholic priest who spent nearly two years at Dachau, The Ninth Day, by German director Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum) is a vividly acted and compelling film about the intellectual battle between an ideal-driven priest and the clever SS officer who seeks to turn him into a traitor. Father Henri Kremer, imprisoned in the living hell of Dachau for opposing Nazi racial laws, is suddenly released and sent home to Luxembourg and is given the impression that he is now a free man. His reverie is short-lived, however, when he learns from the young charismatic Gestapo officer assigned to oversee him, Untersturmführer Gebhardt, that he has only nine days of freedom, during which he must convince his superior, the Bishop of Luxembourg, to sign an agreement stating that Nazism is not a threat. If Kremer fails or tries to escape, his fellow imprisoned priests will be tortured and he will mostly likely be killed. Similarly if Gebhardt fails to gain the Priest's cooperation he will be transferred to duty in the death camps. While Kremer struggles with his conscience, the wily Gebhardt, who was nearly ordained as a priest, engages Kremer in a fascinating theological battle during which they debate the role of Judas in Christianity. Their struggle is a cerebral game of chess in which one man has his future on the line, and the other, his life.