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AMEN

"As its title hints, 'Amen' is not only about the Holocaust, but also about the failure of a powerful religious institution--the Roman Catholic Church--to take a firm public stand against it...The tale contains powerful messages about religious hypocrisy and the moral lassitude that allowed the Holocaust to continue after its reality filtered into public consciousness...it's regrettable that director Costa-Gavras puts more of his storytelling energy into simplistic psychology and suspense-movie action than historical depth and philosophical insight." -- David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor

"In attempting to make a thriller out of a historical failure, 'Amen' director Costa-Gavras doomed himself to failure, as well. His movie, about a real-life Nazi SS officer who tried to alert the outside world to the start of the Holocaust, has all the elements and pacing of a conventional political suspense drama. But knowing his efforts were futile turns the movie into a kind of obscene tease." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"...a solid, even engrossing drama whose central theme, the reluctance of the Vatican to speak out about Nazi atrocities during World War II, is brilliantly explored in all its aching complexity." --Peter Brunette, indieWIRE

"'Amen' is laden with difficult, fascinating themes. Unfortunately, Mr. Costa-Gavras, who has in the past been deft at using suspense as a mode of ethical inquiry, fails to bring them to dramatic life...This well-intentioned film clearly wants to make a statement and to suggest topics for argument ...The problem is that the characters themselves do little more than make statements or propose arguments, weighing the story down with talky, awkward didacticism...in the end 'Amen' is neither as moving nor as illuminating as it should be."-- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Costa-Gavras' decision to represent the death camp horrors by merely showing Gerstein's horrified reaction as he watches through a peep-hole is more powerful than all the explicit scenes in 'The Grey Zone'...while 'Amen' works as a history lesson, it's less effective as a thriller, since the outcome is sadly all too well-known." -- Lou Lumenick, The New York Post