The assassination in Prague in 1942 of Reinhardt Heydrich – ‘protector’ of Bohemia and Moravia and one of the planners of the ‘final solution’ – was one of the most spectacular events of WWII. Although it did not change dramatically the fate of the war, it had a strong impact on the moral of both the German as well as the Czech and other nations fighting on the allies side, proving that the Nazi occupiers were not immortal and that punishment was to be inflicted on the heads of their regime. It also led to savage reprisals that destroyed any hope of cooperation between the German and the occupied Czech areas.  ‘The Man with the Iron Heart’ based on a novel by and directed by carefully describes the main characters of this historical drama as well as the events before and after the attack on Heydrich.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3296908

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3296908

 

A few weeks ago I have seen ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ which figured as central character the wife of a Polish Resistance hero who helped him in saving the lives of hundreds of Jews in occupied Poland. The first half of ‘The Man with the Iron Heart’ had the chance to develop as a ‘The Holocaust Planner Wife’ with a description of the biography and ascension to power of Reinhardt Heydrich, from an immoral officer in the German navy to the highest ranks of the SS under the influence of his wife. We are used to think positively about love stories, and this is a love story of a different kind, the one between two mean people, united by an ideology of hate, deeply corrupt despite the cultural polish of their education and hobbies.  This part of the story and the film is supported by the splendid actor work of , with also giving a convincing performance as the hateful and hated ReichProtektor. I liked less the ‘punk’ version of Himmler created by , it was supposed to be sarcastic, but hard to laugh about such an horrific historic character. Over all this part of the film is the best in my opinion, and maybe would have deserved to be developed more. The authors of the script however decided to cut the action in the middle and focus in the second part on the resistance fighters who prepared and executed the assassination, the consequences of their deeds and their fatal fate. It was not bad, but closer to the beaten paths.

 

(video source FilmTrailerZone)

 

Events of WWII like this one seem to continue to be a source of inspiration for film makers – best proof is that ’The Man with the Iron Heart’  is released less than one year away from ‘Anthropoid’. Each brings a different perspective, and some of them succeed in creating solid stories, with heroes we care about (sympathize or hate). It’s the case of this film as well, a film that I recommend.