The reader – Film 2008
Thoughts: What a sad film. Beautifully performed and directed. The tapestry and heart ache of life.
Adaptated by David Hare and directed by Stephen Daldry
Set in the 1950’s. Kate Winslet plays Hanna, who accidentally meets Michael (David Kross), a teenage school boy. They end up in a passionate affair. They meet, make love and afterwards he reads books aloud! to her.
Michael turns up at her house one day and Hanna is gone.
Years later, Michael, now a law student, sees her in the dock. Hanna was an SS camp guard at Auschwitz, one of six who committed a mass murder. She takes the blame for writing a report as the ring leader. Michael realises that Hanna is illiterate. In front of him he sees her choose not to submit a handwriting specimen as she is ashamed of it.
The older Michael is played by Ralph Fiennes. The heartache of this film lies in his fight with his past feelings and anger towards her and what he sees in front of him. A woman who though guilty, is the most honest out of the defendants. As he looks on, she is charged with life and his struggle to come to terms with it begins.