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The film Valkyrie (2008) is a thriller that explores the religious basis of the July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler in the last year of the Second World War. While the political motivations are clearly stated in exposition and dialogue, the religious motivations are shown through a series of images, symbols, and dramatic uses of the word “sacred” (heilig and its derivatives). The filmmakers focus on Colonel von Stauffenberg’s struggle against the Nazi conception of the sacred, revealing his Christian sense of the sacred as a basis for his resistance. The religious elements in the film provide a pulse to the thriller that enables audiences to understand why the conspirators would risk everything—including their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and their good names after death—to follow their consciences and do the best they could to free Germany from Hitler’s grip. In this way, the filmmakers carefully explore the religious motivations to resist in Nazi Germany, with the minimal use of words, and in a manner that perfectly suited the genre to the thriller.
Skiles, William S.
"Reframing the Sacred: Valkyrie and the Basis of Resistance,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 25:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol25/iss2/4
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