Movies: The Human Face of Evil

A controversial film about Hitler's final days in the bunker isn't easy to watch, but it's unforgettable

Here's a moviegoing opportunity you may want to refuse but should not: spending 21/2 hours trapped underground in a dank bunker with world history's most loathsome creature.

Downfall is a German film--epic in scale, painstaking in detail, superbly acted--that recounts the last days of Adolf Hitler and his circle of associate monsters in the spring of 1945. The locale is ruined Berlin, encircled by the implacably advancing Russians as its population descends into anarchy. Belowstairs, Hitler (toweringly played by Bruno Ganz) spirals deeper into unreality. Hunched over his maps, he orders imaginary armies to attack, while his toadies, in their spiffy...

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