After the takeover of the National Socialists in 1939, Georg Elser, a carpenter from Koenigsbronn, takes the decision to kill Adolf Hitler. A self-made bomb in a famous brew house in Munich misses its target by only 13 minutes. 13 Minutes that could have changed the world’s history and maybe saved the lives of millions of people. Who was this common man who realised the danger of war so early and decided to act while everyone else was following blindly or just keeping silent?
What we can learn from Georg Elser today could best be described as civil courage. When does the moment come that you say: "I'm not going along with that anymore: I can't reconcile it with my conscience"? I was immediately reminded of Edward Snowden. He too could see for several years what was happening in a system that claimed to be democratic: he couldn't ignore it, and finally he had to get out and pass on the information he had to the general public … even though he knew very well that by doing so he was putting an end to the life he had led until then. He was prepared to accept the very real possibility that from then onwards he would be constantly on the run, facing contempt from people all around the world … and forced to fear for his life on a permanent basis. But he still stood up and said: "This isn't right!" The inner compulsion that motivated Snowden is very closely linked to the motivation Elser felt.
I have been preoccupied with the Third Reich ever since I was able to think in any meaningful way. Back when I was at school, when I attempted to find out as much as I could about the Nazi period, I came across the name of Georg Elser. I found him incredibly interesting, although in those days only a fraction of the information we now have about him was available. Decades later, during my preparations for the film DOWNFALL, I again stumbled across the name of Elser – and straight away I thought to myself: What a thrilling story that would make!
Cast & Crew
Directed by : Oliver Hirschbiegel
Written by : Fred Breinersdorfer, Léonie-Claire Breinersdorfer
Produced by : Boris Ausserer , Oliver Schündler, Fred Breinersdorfer
Director of Photography : Judith Kaufmann
Editor : Alexander Dittner
Production Design : Benedikt Herforth, Thomas Stammer
Costume Design : Bettina Marx
Composer : David Holmes
Sound Design : Steffen Graubaum, Srdjan Kurpjel, Christian Bischoff
Main Cast : Christian Friedel (Georg Elser), Katharina Schüttler (Elsa), Burghart Klaußner (Arthur Nebe), Johann von Bülow (Heinrich Müller), Felix Eitner (Hans Eberle), David Zimmerschied (Josef Schurr), Rüdiger Klink (Erich), Cornelia Köndgen (Maria Elser), Lissy Pernthaler (Protokollführerin)
Nominations and Awards
- European Actor 2015
- EFA Feature Film Selection 2015