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With The Ninth Day, director Volker SchlÃ¶ndorff (The Tin Drum, The Legend of Rita, Circle of Deceit) creates a moral thriller that "succeeds in illuminating an almost unimaginably dark story" (The New York Times). Inspired by the true tale of a dissident priest's temporary furlough from Dachau, The Ninth Day transforms an ethical crisis into a nail-biting showdown and unspeakable guilt into transcendent redemption.
From inside the hell of the Dachau concentration camp "Priest Block," Father Henri Kremer (Ulrich Mattes - Downfall) clings to fragile life and fading faith. But Gestapo officer Gebhardt (August Diehl - Love the Hard Way), a young and ruthless lapsed seminarian, arranges a nine day reprieve for the priest. If Kremer can persuade his staunchly anti-Nazi Bishop to capitulate to Nazi occupation, he'll go free. But if he fails or tries to escape, certain death awaits. Torn between duty, faith, fear for his own life and for the lives of his loved ones, in just nine days Kremer must find a way to ease his conscience, protect his family and uphold his vows.
Ulrich Mattes is "eerily convincing as a man torn by moral choices" (Time Out New York). Together, pilgrim Kremer and tempter Gebhardt "are singularly fascinating as tension-filled incompatibles" (Andrew Sarris, NY Observer). Matthes, Diehl and The Legend of Rita's Bibiana Beglau, as Kremer's sister, contribute aggressively eloquent performances. The Ninth Day showcases the sensitive visionary precision that has kept Volker SchlÃ¶ndorff on the leading edge of international cinema for four decades.
"This is moviemaking on the highest dramatic, psychological, and moral plane. The great SchlÃ¶ndorff has never done greater work." - David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor
"This picture is powerful!" - David Denby, The New Yorker