1 March 2015 | Karl Self
Working class hero
Unlike so many subsidised movies about the Nazi era, this one isn't superficial and moralistic. Instead it tries to, and succeeds in, painting an authentic portrait of the prewar Nazi era in a village in rural Germany. Most of all, the movie is captivating. We get under the skin of this idiosyncratic carpenter who missed changing world history, and possibly saving tens of millions of lives, by a margin of just 13 minutes.
The movie stands of as one of the few who manage to depict what it could have been like to live under the Nazi dictatorship. What would you do if one of your friends was sent off to do forced labour, or another one was pilloried for her supposedly immoral behaviour. As the benefactors of a free society, we would like to think that we would stand up against such injustice. This movie conveys how difficult, how impossible it was to be decent under the Nazi yoke. It goes much to Georg Elser's credit that he tried to do the impossible nevertheless.