After last Monday’s brilliant and thrilling docu-drama about the failed assassination plot against Hitler, our next screening is Bryan Singer’s 

2008, 121 min., dir. Bryan Singer, starring Tom Cruise, English with German subtitles or German with English subtitles! 


TIME: 5.00 p.m.

VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing, 1st Floor, German Programme, Media Room F251 

About the film:
At the absolute height of World War II, German generals hatch a daring plan to assassinate Adolf Hitler and effectively render the German war machine impotent. Directed by Bryan Singer, Valkyrie stars Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the real-life mastermind behind the elaborate plot known as Project Valkyrie: a plan to assassinate Hitler and overthrow his government from the inside. Stauffenberg has been a loyal soldier and an asset to the Reich for his entire military career, but after losing an eye, a hand, and three fingers in an Allied bombing, he reaches a breaking point. The destructive madness that his country is unleashing on the world has become too terrible for the colonel to stand silent. He joins the resistance movement — a treasonous act, punishable by death — and risks his life and the life of his family for the chance to change history. Comprised of high-ranking officials working in secret, the German Resistance has access to the inner workings of the government and military, putting them in the perfect position to dispatch the dictator and then use his own official contingency plan to seize power — before the army, the SS, and loyal party members can put someone just as diabolical in the Führer’s place. Source:

The July 20 plot is an intriguing footnote to history, one of those “what if” scenarios. If it had succeeded, one of the hopes of the conspirators was said to be an alliance with the Allies against Russia. The Gestapo investigated the July 20 plot thoroughly, so filmmakers had access to much documentation as they integrated the historical account with “Hollywood factors” in producing Valkyrie.

Until the World War II epic Valkyrie opened at the end of December, many people were unaware that Nazi Germany even had a resistance. Directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects and X-Men), Valkyrie was subject to an unusual amount of preproduction debate, much of it centered on Tom Cruise’s controversial comeback. A later wave of reactions, such as George Will’s in Newsweek, fault it for taking an action-film approach, without providing a broader vision of German resistance. While it may be tempting to approach Valkyrie as Mission Impossible: the Prequel, the film’s depiction of its characters and recreaction of its wartime Berlin settings are remarkably faithful to the historical record, and it serves as a fine introduction to the complex theme of German resistance. 

For further details please contact: 

Dr Marion Pape
Head, German Studies
University of KwaZulu-Natal
School of Arts
Durban, 4041
Tel: 0027-31-260 1086 / 2380
Fax: 0027-31-260 1242

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