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After Hitler took over power in 1933, many Jewish artists were forced to leave Germany. Wilhelm Furtwängler (Stellan Skarsgård) chose to stay, serving as one of the Nazi`s foremost cultural assets. Though never a member of the Party, Furtwängler was the recipient of government honors and appointments, associated with party members. However, the conductor often used his position and contacts to save hundreds of Jewish musicians from the concentration camps.
When Major Steve Arnold (Harvey Keitel) is given the task of carrying out pre-trial investigations against Furtwängler, his aim is to prove that the conductors artistic genius contributed to the Nazi propaganda machine and their destructive ideology. Conversely, Furtwängler insists he chose to stay to bring comfort to the German people with his music.
Like a master conductor, director István Szabó orchestrates the debate from cat-and-mouse intensity. Taking Sides is that rare film that demands the audience to take a position on an issue: in this case, the complicity or innocence of Wilhelm Furtwängler.
Absolutely fantastic! Brilliant performances and an honest portrayal of a very vexing dilemma.Published 13 days ago by Donna Dralle
Well acted version of the play, but twists the historical record. Furtwangler did go to trial in Berlin, but was exonerated. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mark J. Cavanaugh
This a poorly made film that asks a lot of questions but does not give enough information for answers to be given. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Melvyn Bowler
This is perhaps one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. In fact, I gave it 4 stars because I was so moved by it, albeit in a negative way Harvey Keitel is monstrously... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Donald Waits
I kind of disagree with some of the comments that this isn't such a good film in itself. The film is about Keitel's anger, not about Furtwangler. Read morePublished 22 months ago by mikemike
As noted by a number of reviewers, this started life as a play and the director has made a film that unfolds like a play. Read morePublished on October 10, 2012 by "Belgo Geordie"
If you were ever interested in the music of Wilhelm Furtwangler than this movie is a must see. Not for the music but for the unfortunate circumstances of a great artist who... Read morePublished on July 10, 2012 by Amazon Customer
The true problem with this film is that it locks onto an interesting topic and then squanders it by repeating the same case over and over. Read morePublished on July 4, 2011 by Arch Stanton
"Taking Sides" is the story of the U.S. Army's witch hunt to tie conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler to Nazi atrocities after World War II, when they stripped him of his ability to... Read morePublished on December 29, 2010 by Larry VanDeSande