...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

November 16, 2006

Two Sophie's: Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (7) and The Da Vinci Code (3)

Sophie: From Greek σοφία, meaning wisdom

Yesterday I watched two films. It was mostly an accident that Netflix sent me two films that both highlight a character named Sophie. The first is the well-known and controversial The Da Vinci Code. All I have to say about the controversy is that if a film like this can make you change anything you didn't previously believe before the film, then you should probably question your ability to believe rather than blame the film for telling you something new. That aside, this film kinda sucks. The acting is rather stale (Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellan is the only decent one), and I don't want to have to say it, but books are usually better, and in this case? Yep, the book is better- believe it or not, the book is actually faster paced. All this to say that Sophie Neveu, who is a cryptologist and is helping Langdon solve the code before they get caught, finally finds out that she is a descendant of Jesus. The film claims that orthodox Christianity is just foolishness and stupid, and that faith is really just power in disguise. In the end, Sophie is the symbol of human arrogance and folly, she knows the truth and she can control the world if she chooses, which to her just seems like fun (Further proof that any of Jesus' DNA got lost over the years). The book gave the writers some great material, but the long amount of time it took between book and movie made this project a failure before it started.

But there is another Sophie. Sophie Scholl's was a German university student during WWII. She along with her brother and a few other students started to write and distribute leaflets, in protest against Hitler and the war. They called the group The White Rose. This film follows Sophie as she and Hans are arrested and interrogated. The conversations during interrogation and imprisonment are what make the film worth watching. This is a Sophie of humility: she is not without her doubts of the truth, but she argues with conviction that Hitler's vision must not come about, that Germans will lose their humanity if the war continues. It is a moving film about the ideas that drive us, that will not let us go, and that we would consider of dying for. Julia Jentsch brings the emotion and wisdom of Sophie to the screen. There is a similar 1982 film about the Scholl's called The White Rose - 7.
If you have to make a choice between Sophie's, choose the one of humility, conviction, and truth. It truly is the right choice.


Gideon Strauss said...

I cannot wait to see the Sophie Scholl movie. She is one of my all-time heroes, because of Steven Garber's writing on The White Rose.

Andrea Hensen said...

RE: Sophie Scholl

I've been watching the same trailer for over a year now, so it's about friggen time!

I can't wait to see this movie!