A HAUNTING TRUE WORLD WAR II STORY ABOUT A GERMAN ARMY DESERTER WHO FINDS A NAZI CAPTAIN’S UNIFORM AND TAKES COMMAND OF THOSE AROUND HIM
Based on the arresting true story of the Executioner of Emsland, THE CAPTAIN, from award-winning filmmaker Robert Schwentke (RED, INSURGENT), is a World War II tale like no other—a searing historical drama with undertones of absurd black comedy that presents the evils of Nazism and fascism as a devastating kind of game to be played by those most gullible and unscrupulous.
THE CAPTAIN follows a young German army deserter, Pvt. Willi Herold (rising star Max Hubacher), after he finds an abandoned Nazi captain’s uniform in the final weeks of World War II. Emboldened by the authority the uniform grants him, he amasses a band of stragglers who cede to his command despite the suspicions of some. Citing direct orders from the Fuhrer himself, he soon takes command of a camp holding German soldiers accused of desertion and embarks on a brutal mission of torture and slaughter, all in the name of “justice.” Increasingly intoxicated by the unquestioned authority, the enigmatic imposter soon discovers that many people will blindly follow the leader…whomever that may be.
Filmed in stark black-and-white by cinematographer Florian Ballhaus (son of the legendary Michael Ballhaus), THE CAPTAIN offers a disturbingly unique perspective of horrific historical events that allows audiences to glimpse universal truths about the human condition during wartime. For writer/director Schwentke, who returned to his native Germany to make the film, it was that intense view through the eyes of the villainous protagonist that provided the film’s power.
“[THE CAPTAIN] confronts the audience with a different set of propositions than a movie that allows them to graft onto a morally upright character. We all hope and imagine that we would have been morally upright and brave enough to oppose the system. But history and the facts don’t bear that out,” says Schwentke. “I wanted there to be no explicit moral compass, forcing the audience to find their own point of view, to ask themselves, ‘What would I have done?’ [We must] contemplate our own limitations, strengths, and beliefs—and not pretend it is going to resolve itself.”
Following lauded screenings at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2018 Cinepocalypse Genre Film Festival, and the 2018 Traverse City Film Festival (where it won the Stanley Kubrick Award for Bold & Innovative Filmmaking), among others, and a continuing rollout to the nation’s top theatrical markets, THE CAPTAIN will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD (iTunes, Amazon Instant, FandangoNow, GooglePlay, Vudu, and YouTube) for the first time on November 27, 2018 . The DVD and Blu-ray include interviews with director Robert Schwentke and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
A chilling parable on the terrors of war and human nature in the face of unflinching power, THE CAPTAIN is a film that demands to be seen. More information on THE CAPTAIN may be found on the MUSIC BOX FILMS website at musicboxfilms.com