- Intensive Making of
- Interviews with cast
- Original cinema trailer

Genre: War/Historical Drama
Starring: Bruno Ganz, Thomas Kretschmann, Alexandra Maria Lara
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Rating: NC-16 (War Violence)
Year Made: 2005

Languages: German
Subtitles: English, Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: German Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 2 hrs 36 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Home Entertainment






Berlin, April 1945. A nation awaits its downfall. House-to-house fighting rages in the streets of the capital. Hitler, along with several of his generals and closest confidants, has barricaded himself in the Fuehrer’s Bunker under the Reichskanzlei. Among them is Traudl Junge, Hitler’s private secretary, who doesn’t want to abandon him. While the situation outside escalates – the Red Army is advancing, and in the city’s bomb-scarred districts desperate scenes are unfolding – Hitler experiences the downfall of the Third Reich behind thick bunker walls. Although Berlin can no longer be held, the Fuehrer refuses to leave the city. He wants, as the architect Speer puts it, "to be on stage when the last curtain falls." But Hitler is not on stage. While the full force of the hopelessly lost war crashes down over his people, the Fuehrer stages his final departure. Only hours before their joint suicide, he marries Eva Braun. Instead of the final victory comes the final defeat, but that has also been planned down to the last detail. After Hitler and Eva Braun have taken their lives, their corpses are burned so that they do not fall into the hands of the enemy. Many of his faithful also choose suicide. Goebbels and the remaining generals refuse to comply with the Russians' demand for unconditional surrender. As the situation becomes ever more hopeless, Magda Goebbels poisons her six children before she and her husband take their own lives. Shortly thereafter Traudl Junge and several others manage to escape at the last minute...


Most times, when we learn about history or watch a film about that very topic, we always are from the outside looking in. Then, when a film that does the very opposite comes along, it's a gem! And that is the case with “Downfall”, Germany’s submission for this year’s Academy Awards, which lost out to “The Sea Inside”.

There have been a number of films that have depicted Hitler’s rise but none so dictating his fall. “Downfall” is that film. It shies away from elaborate war sequences and concentrates on the deterioration of the human psyche, marred by the horrors of war. In this two and a half hour spiral, Bruno Ganz portrays Adolf Hitler so chillingly that the audience can feel both disgusted yet sympathetic with the man. While we gape at the atrocities of his actions on other human beings, we might also find some compassion about a man who might just have been bent on achieving his dreams.

Yes, you might already know how it all ends, but Oliver Hirschbiegel tackled a sensitive matter alongside screenwriter, Bernd Eichinger and that has made the difference because at the end of the day, someone had to tell the real story. And I must say the Germans should be proud that they both gave the film the right treatment.

While most war films tend to focus on the battlefields, “Downfall” takes the viewer into Hitler’s personal life, his room, his friends, what he eats, the bunkers, the barracks and the hardest thing of all, into his heart. Like placing a magnifying glass over an ant with the sun shining brightly, witness the torturous civil war Hitler battles as he succumbs to his downfall.


This Code 3 DVD has an insightful “Making Of” featurette. Like the film itself, the featurette ventures into the heart of the film by explaining the origins of Downfall. There are also interviews with most of the cast members as well as the director and playwright. Learn from the director and playwright how their vision materialized into Downfall and watch Bruno Ganz give his take on playing what could be the role of his life!

There is also an “Interview” section on the DVD which is actually a vignette of all the interviews that can be found in the “Making Of” section. This is for those who want a quick summary of the conceptualization.


The DVD comes in German Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1.


Keeping true to the period where debris and dry blood filled the streets of Germany, the film is mainly depicted in grayish shades and dark blue tinges.



Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Comstar Home Entertainment

Alternative Opinion:

The movie review by our columnist, Richard Lim Jr

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