Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)
There are people who are able to live long lives of faithful dedication to the service of Christ. Others live for Christ’s glory, but are called home by Him at a young age. Sophie Scholl was executed by Nazi’s for her involvement in the most famous student-run Nazi resistance movement, The White Rose. By her obedience to the call to oppose injustice, she did not simply lose her life, but she fulfilled her life’s call and came home to her Father in Heaven (Luke 9:24).
This film chronicles the last six days of Sophie’s life – her actions, trial, and preparation for death. The acting, directing and script all combine for an emotionally draining and compelling film, well deserving of the Oscar nomination it received for best foreign film in 2006.
The strategy of The White Rose in opposing Nazism was simple: ignite their college-aged peers by spreading their message in a way that would keep themselves anonymous, yet would reach as many students as possible. The film opens with the group printing out leaflets in their own homes, then the next day stuffing their jackets and a suitcase with them. In the early morning hours, before any students of the University of Munich are walking through the halls, Sophie and her brother, who is also a member of The White Rose, scout out the main room where all the school’s halls converge. They leave piles of the leaflets around the three levels of the hall, but are caught by the school’s janitor when they reach the top level. Although they are caught, the leaflets have already been picked up and read by hundreds of the students.
The movie then moves into a courtroom setting, where Sophie stands trial for her actions. While we know from the movie’s title what will happen, there is a chilling suspense where we cannot help but long for true justice to be handed down. Yet, as Sophie is preparing for death, we see a glimmer of true justice. For though she faces death, there is a hope in her that cannot be taken away by an unjust sentence. She fought for what she knew was right. She died with that same knowledge firmly in her heart.
“How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause. Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?” — Sophie Scholl
In loving memory of Kortney Blythe Gordon and her pre-born daughter Sophy Joy Gordon.