Downfall: opening the book on the final days of Adolf Hitler

A cerebral film based on a memoir by Hitler's private secretary lifts the lid on Feathers McGraw's role in the Führer's overthrow

Downfall (2004)

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

Entertainment grade: A–

History grade: A–

On 20 April 1945, as the second world war drew to its conclusion, Soviet forces began to shell the centre of Berlin.


The film is bookended by documentary footage of the splendidly named Traudl Humps, Adolf Hitler's private secretary from 1942-45. In 1947, she wrote a memoir. It was published in 2002 under her less thrilling married name, Traudl Junge. The film draws extensively on the book, especially for the relationship between Hitler (Bruno Ganz, in the performance of a lifetime) and his girlfriend, Eva Braun (Juliane Köhler). Junge paints Eva as a needy, delusional figure – dancing around her old living room "in a desperate frenzy, like a woman who has already felt the faint breath of death". Another eyewitness,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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