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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 09:56 GMT
Berlin cheers for anti-Nazi film
Julia Jentsch as Sophie Scholl
German actress Julia Jentsch plays iconic heroine Sophie Scholl
A German movie about an anti-Nazi resistance heroine has drawn loud applause at Berlin Film Festival.

Sophie Scholl - The Final Days portrays the final days of the member of the White Rose movement.

Scholl, 21, was arrested and beheaded with her brother, Hans, in 1943 for distributing leaflets condemning the "abhorrent tyranny" of Adolf Hitler.

Director Marc Rothemund said: "I have a feeling of responsibility to keep the legacy of the Scholls going."

"We must somehow keep their ideas alive," he added.

Historical accuracy

The film drew on transcripts of Gestapo interrogations and Scholl's trial preserved in the archive of communist East Germany's secret police.

Their discovery was the inspiration behind the film for Rothemund, who worked closely with surviving relatives, including one of Scholl's sisters, to ensure historical accuracy on the film.

Scholl and other members of the White Rose resistance group first started distributing anti-Nazi leaflets in the summer of 1942.

They were arrested as they dropped leaflets at Munich University calling for a "day of reckoning" with Adolf Hitler's regime.

The film focuses on the six days from Scholl's arrest to the intense trial which saw Scholl initially deny the charges and ended with a defiant appearance.

It is one of three German films vying for a top prize at the Festival.

Debut performance

A South African film version of Bizet's tragic opera Carmen shot in Cape Town in the Xhosa language has also premiered at the Berlin Festival.

The film is entitled U-Carmen eKhayelitsha or Carmen in Khayelitsha after the township in which the story is set.

It is performed by a 40-strong music and theatre troupe in their debut film performance.

The film is the first South African feature in 25 years and only the second to be nominated for a Golden Bear Award.

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