Screener Squad: The Captain (a.k.a. Der Hauptmann)

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Who’s the captain now? Unfortunately, it’s the psychopath in this movie. Based on the story of war criminal Willi Herold, we follow his journey from deserting the front lines near the end of World War II to his discovery of an abandoned Luftwaffe captain uniform. Using this rank and his gift for gab, he assembles a ragtag group of soldiers for a ‘special mission’ that leads him to a prison camp where he commits and convinces other to commit, numerous atrocities to see how far his newfound power can take him.

It must be said upfront that this German-language movie is almost unrelentingly bleak and contains several hard-to-watch sequences. However, if you can stomach the film like Justin and Patience did, you’ll see the gorgeously shot, well sound mixed and overall thought-provoking tale within about how it easy it can be to do evil when suddenly given immense power. It’s not a new story, but it’s one that is well-told and still relevant today. Who would have thought this would come from writer/director Robert Schwentke, the man responsible for such ‘classics’ as R.I.P.D., Flightplan and the second and third Divergent movies? It goes to show that sometimes taking away those big budgets and going back to your roots can really pay off!

 

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