Review: The People vs. Fritz Bauer
By John Corrado
★★★ (out of 4)
The People vs. Fritz Bauer dramatizes the lengths prosecutor Fritz Bauer (Burghart Klaussner) went to in tracking down high-ranking Nazi Adolf Eichmann (Michael Schenk) over a decade after the end of World War II, hoping to put him on trial in Germany for his crimes against humanity.
Burghart Klaussner portrays the title figure with admirable tenacity, a German-Jewish lawyer who seeks overdue justice for the man who aided in the Holocaust but remains at large, to serve as an example to others who escaped conviction by fleeing the country after the war.
The film also works in a fictional but still engaging subplot involving his associate Karl Angermann (Ronald Zehrfeld), a lawyer who is struggling to remain closeted, lest he be charged with engaging in homosexual acts which were illegal at the time.
Directed by Lars Kraume, and set to a classy jazz score that recalls an old noir film, The People vs. Fritz Bauer is a handsomely produced historical drama that unfolds as a simmering legal procedural, and is kept engaging thanks to a well written screenplay and solid performances from its cast.
The People vs. Fritz Bauer is opening in limited release at Famous Players Canada Square in Toronto.