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The Restless Conscience

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In 1944, 170 German citizens were brought to trial and convicted as participants in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This was not an isolated act, but only the last of more than 20 attempts to overthrow the Nazi Regime. This is the story of a resistance that, prior to this film, had largely eluded popular consciousness.

Powerful and provocative, Academy Award nominee THE RESTLESS CONSCIENCE explores the motivating principals and activities of the anti-Nazi resistance inside Germany from 1933 to 1945. The film is a deeply moving portrayal of individual destinies, focusing on the moral and political evolution of individuals whose consciences were at odds with an overpowering national consensus.

Hava Kohav Beller's THE RESTLESS CONSCIENCE highlights the tension between individual responsibility to a personal ethical code, and to a tyrannical political system. In telling their story, the film recognizes those who, despite the mortal danger to themselves and their families, and being branded traitors at home, had the courage to uphold essential human values.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Directors: Hava Kohav Beller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001KZVQLG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,520 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Restless Conscience" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J from NY VINE VOICE on May 14, 2008
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Hava Kohav Beller's Oscar nominated and curiously little known documentary on the resistance to Nazi Germany from within is difficult to watch, at times almost unbearable, but is ultimately a testimony to the
triumph of the human spirit even when it would seem that evil has prevailed entirely.

Though the idea of a German resistance during this time has seemed suspicious to historians and even casual readers of history alike, Beller sets to rest any uncertainty about the existence of the men and women who would risk their lives to put an end to Adolf Hitler's reign of terror.
Trade union leader Julius Leber (who courageously defended the rights of Jewish citizens in a German court in 1933, and was promptly executed for doing so) international lawyer Count Helmuth James von Moltke (who at the risk of his own life travelled outside of Germany to convince the British that mass extermination was taking place), civil servant Adam von Trott zu Solz (who exclaimed in a German street "The maniac is going to do what he wrote in the book!"), Leipzig mayor Dr. Carl Goerdeler (who saved 1600 Jews and was also killed), pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer (who, on a national radio broadcast in Germany condemned Hitler and became involved in the attempt on his life), and finally Colonel Claus Graf Von Stauffenberg, at long last placed a briefcase bomb next to Hitler.

Though I suppose the blame still lies chiefly on the Germans of that time, this documentary also reveals that if either Churchhill or Chamberlain had listened to Moltke or Goerdeler's direct communications regarding the genocide going on and the active resistance, Hitler probably would have died far earlier than 1945. The British seemed to have to been particularly obtuse when help was needed most.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This film is essential viewing (particularly for those born since 1960)

to gain insight into the rarely mentioned german resistance movement.

Contains authentic interviews with participants and/or close relatives

of those who took part.

Well worth viewing from a historical point of view, this film also

provokes discussion about the world 60 years later
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Format: VHS Tape
This film is amazing. It grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Ms. Beller had to use archival film footage, old photos and interviews with the elderly family and friends of the brave Germans who tried to put an end to the tyranny. No actions shots, little color, no special effects, yet you can't stop watching. Fantastic work. I saw a library copy, but I'm going to purchase a copy.
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Too little is known about those Germans who did resist the Nazis from 1933 to 1945, especially since many of us had been taught during childhood that all the German people supported Hitler when he was in power. This documentary does a good job of dispelling that myth.

People who have never lived under a dictatorship as ruthlessly efficient as the Nazis can never know the kind of courage it would take to stand-up to such a regime, despite the infinitesimal chance that their efforts would result in the fall of the Nazis or death of Hitler. Given that the Nazis killed or imprisoned many of their opponents shortly after their takeover and the Gestapo was constantly on the lookout for dissenters afterwards, resistance to the Nazis involved such people risking everything they had, including their lives and the lives of their families.

Due to the film Valkyrie, most people are aware of the attempted assassination on July 20, 1944 and the film Swing Kids brought attention to the early resistance to the Nazis by young people active in Germany's 1930s jazz subculture. But these films were made mostly by casting Hollywood stars to lure people into theaters and featuring soundtracks to entertain us with music.

The Restless Conscience is a documentary and offered nothing more than the information most people did not possess before seeing it.
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Format: DVD
"The Restless Conscience" is an Academy Award nominee that explores the motivating principles and activities of the anti-Nazi resistance inside Germany from 1933 to 1945. The film is a moving portrayal of individual destinies, focusing on the moral and political evolution of people whose conscience was at odds with an overpowering national consensus. Filmmaker Hava Kohav Beller points out that in 1944, at least 170 German citizens were convicted as participants in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This was the last of more than 20 attempts to overthrow the Nazi regime. "The Restless Conscience" highlights the tension between individual responsibility to a personal ethical code and fear of a tyrannical political system. Bonus extras include an interview with the filmmaker.
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