Based on lawyer and judge-turned writer Bernard Schlink’s bestseller The Reader, this movie provides nearly 2 hours of thought-provoking viewing.

15 year old Michael Berg and 36 year old Hanna Schmitz are drawn into a passionate clandestine affair after a chance meeting in post-war Germany (1958). The affair ends abruptly when Hanna disappears. Eight years later while now law student Michael is observing the trial of 6 female former SS concentration camp guards, he is stunned to discover Hanna as a defendant in the courtroom. While listening to the testimony, he realizes that he is in possession of information which could save Hanna from life imprisonment but it is information which she herself is loath to disclose.

As with any book or film about the Holocaust, the reader’s/viewer’s response is usually overshadowed by the questions as to how could anyone knowingly send men, women and children to their destruction and how could the world allow it. This film doesn’t purport to answer these questions but rather gives powerful insights to human frailities and encourages us to look closely at the difficult issues surrounding the atrocities of World War II.

See the movie with its wonderful performance by Kate Winslet, young David Kross and Ralph Finnes but try to read the book if you want to know more.