Istvan Szabo (SUNSHINE) brings this intense and thought-provoking film to the screen with his signature vibrant photography precise rendering of period details and strong direction of powerful actors. Here Harvey Keitel plays Major Steve Arnold a gruff and rude American sent to Berlin just after World War II on a mission to root out men who were part of the Nazi party and charge them with their war crimes. He is assigned to investigate Wilhelm Furtwangler (Stellan Skarsgaard) the highly esteemed conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. Hiring two young assistants Lieutenant David Wills and Emmi Straube (Moritz Bleibtreu and Birgit Minichmayr) to research the conductor and his orchestra Major Steve runs a tight ship. In fact David and Emmi cringe at his lack of respect for the accomplished musicians they interview and his total disregard for their art. Major Steve plays Beethoven on high volume on the office record player usually to fuel his anger and charge up his finger-pointing interrogation tactics while David and Emmi--who provide a sideline love story to the plot--simply appreciate the music and Furtwanglers skill in conducting it. TAKING SIDES depicts the jarring debate between Major Steve and Furtwangler as they discuss art and politics the separation between the two the confusion of war and Furtwanglers potential culpability in having stayed in his homeland of Germany instead of leaving the country to protest the war.
Making Of, Designer Documentary, Audio Commentary With Writer Producer And Executive Producer, Picture Gallery
Release Date: 05 March 2007
Certificate: 15 - Suitable for Persons Aged 15 or Over
Running Time: 105 minutes
Production Year: 2001
Main Language: English
Hearing Impaired Languages: English