03/04/2015  
From the Dark on DVD & Blu-ray Apr 14Wordworld: Birthday Party! on DVD Mar 17FirePower (Limited Edition) on Blu-ray & DVD Mar 10The Imitation Game download on Mar 20, DVD & Blu-Ray on Mar 31Something Wicked on DVD Mar 17Believe Me in Blu-ray & DVD Mar 3NFL Super Bowl Champions XLIX: New England Patriots on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Mar 3

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

From the Dark on DVD & Blu-ray Apr 14...
Wordworld: Birthday Party! on DVD Mar 17...
Kelly Osbourne leaves 'Fashion Police' ...
FirePower (Limited Edition) on Blu-ray & DVD Mar 10...
Passage: Leonard Nimoy...
The Imitation Game download on Mar 20, DVD & Blu-Ray on...
Oscars 2015: Lady Gaga sings for 50th anniversary of 'T...
Something Wicked on DVD Mar 17...
Meryl Streep, Peter Fonda celebrate Women in Film...
Guide to Academy Awards programming on TV...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Kino on Video presents
The Ninth Day (2004)

"I've searched my conscience. I've asked the Lord to help me, but He hasn't answered."
- Father Henri Kremer (Ulrich Matthes)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: December 06, 2005

Stars: Ulrich Matthes, August Diehl, Bibiana Beglau, Germain Wagner
Other Stars: Hilmar Thate, Jean-Paul Raths, Ivan Jirik
Director: Volker Schlondorff

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations, violence)
Run Time: 01h:33m:20s
Release Date: December 06, 2005
UPC: 738329043827
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A+A-B C

DVD Review

Movies about the Holocaust have often generate immense interest and controversy. This isn't surprising given that the subject matter is one of the darkest, most heinous events in the history of the world. What is surprising is how many different points of view have been used to chronicle this travesty. 2004's The Ninth Day is the product of legendary German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff, who has helmed such films as The Tin Drum, Young Törless), and his Hollywood star-heavy productions Palmetto and The Handmaid's Tale. This is Schöndorff's film adaptation of the autobiographical novel by Father Jean Bernard, a work that sparked international controversy due to its stark portrayal of the Catholic Church and its stance on World War II and the Holocaust. The Ninth Day has received similar attention throughout the world, with many critics citing the film as Catholic propaganda. Fortunately, it is much more than that, and actually comes across as a rather neutral account of the Church's stance on the Nazi atrocities, focusing on the plight of a single priest and the crisis of faith that comes to a man of the cloth who has seen what he has seen.

Father Henri Kremer (Ulrich Matthes) is a priest who is imprisoned at the Dachau in a special "priests' camp." Henri and his fellow clergymen have slightly better living conditions and privileges than the "common" detainees, but they are still barely fed and are, for example, only allowed to use a toilet for one minute a day. After watching another priest crucified and left to freeze, Henri is led out of the camp, and sent on "leave" back to his home in Luxembourg. Once he's returns to his family and begins to adjust to his old life again, Henri meets Untersturmführer Gebhardt (August Diehl), a Nazi bureaucrat who informs him that he will return to Dachau unless he can convince Bishop Joseph Philippe to side with Hitler's views.

The Ninth Day is a disturbing film, but is surprisingly light on the graphic violence most Holocaust films depict. Instead, the focus is on the personal conflict that Father Kremer is enduring. One of the most poignant sequences involves Kremer telling the story of a day in Dachau when he found a rusty water pipe that was barely dripping water. The dehydrated priest had proceeded to drink as much of this water as he could, never telling his fellow inmates about this precious commodity. When he realizes the complete selfishness of this act, Kremer begins to question his belief in a God that would allow one of his direct disciples to be so heartless as to essentially allow one of his comrades to perish as a result. While this sequence is about as violent as The Ninth Day gets (aside from the crucifixion scene, which is without any close-up shots), it is just as disturbing and sad as anything in Schindler's List.

The key to the success of The Ninth Day is the outstanding Oscar-worthy performance by Ulrich Matthes. Ironically, Matthes appeared in Downfall on the other side of Hitler's tyranny, more specifically, as Joseph Goebbels, while in Schlöndorff's film, he is a sympathetic figure. His Father Kremer commands our constant attention, whether from pity due to his sickly physical appearance or in rooting for him to find some way to escape the Nazi's watchful eye before the ninth day of his leave is up. Matthes' Kremer is a humble man of few words, but the actor speaks volumes via his facial expressions.

The best news to come out of this viewing experience is that it's a return to form for Schlöndorff. His oeuvre is impressive, but he hasn't approached the brilliance of The Tin Drum in quite some time. Hopefully, The Ninth Day is a sign that a career renaissance of sorts is in the mix.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: This 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is a nice surprise, maintaining its gritty, grimy look throughout. Given the nature of the material, one expects dark colors that dominate, and fortunately, black and shadow levels are handled well enough. There's a slight bit of grain, but it's hard to notice it. If there are any other blemishes, they went unnoticed, resulting in what amounts to be another of this transfer's perks.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Germanno


Audio Transfer Review: The only audio track is a Dolby Digital 2.0 one that is much livelier than expected. This isn't an incredibly enveloping experience by any means, but there is some nice channel separation. The film is heavily reliant on its dialogue, which is always crisp and easy to understand.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Watermarks, Or My Treasure, The Ogre, The Legend of Rita
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Stills Gallery
  2. An Interview with Volker Schlöndorff
Extras Review: There aren't many extras, but there is a stills gallery, a collection of trailers, and a recent 16-minute interview with Volker Schlöndorff. The great director discusses quite a lot, including how the film stays mostly true to the novel on which it was based, and his experiences working with this fine cast.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

The Holocaust is chronicled once again in The Ninth Day, a harrowing, personal account of a priest's crisis of faith that results from his experience in Dachau. Kino on Video does this little-seen film justice, delivering above average audio and video, and a couple of extras, including an interview with director Volker Schlöndorff.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

horror, kids, television, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, dreadlocks, action, star trek, sci-fi, leonard nimoy, human-alien first officer, star ship enterprise, music, kelly clarkson, brandon blackstock, terry smith, american idol winner, drama, oscars 2015, lady gaga, the sound of music, julie andrews, scarlett johansson, film, movies, oscars, comedy, sports, abc, the view, delores & jermaine, whoopi goldberg, taylor kinney, heart-shaped diamond, saturday night live 40, rachel dratch, tom hanks, alec baldwin, melissa mccarthy, billy crystal, documentary, jimmy fallon, justin timberlake, paul mccartney, paul simon, miley cyrus, kanye west, 60 minutes, bob simon, car accident, manhattan, dance competition, dancing with the stars, mark ballas, valentin chmervoskiy, witney carson, comedy central, the daily show, jon stewart, the colbert report, the nightly show with larry wilmore, john oliver, bill maher, movie, spiderman, avengers, sony pictures, amy pascal, marvel films, kevin feige, biography

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store