I accuse

I accuse

Ich klage an (Original Title)

In this film, the wife of a renowned doctor becomes ill with multiple sclerosis. Trying to spare her beloved husband the ordeal, the woman turns to a family friend, Dr. Lang, to help end her life. When this doctor declines to help with the assisted suicide, however, she is forced to turn to her husband. After much soul-searching, Dr. Heyt, her husband, assists in her suicide. The act, however, is witnessed by a chambermaid, who reports him to the police. Dr. Heyt is put on trial for murder and, at first, Dr. Lang testifies against him in court. Soon, however, Dr. Lang is faced with a similar case in his professional practice and this, along with Dr. Heyt’s impassioned performance in court, convinces Dr. Lang that, in some instances, mercy killing may be the right thing to do. A very rare film, which, no matter on which side of the debate you stand, has relevance to this very day. Powerfully emotional film. Very good picture and sound quality; some dark pictures in places with poor lighting.

2h 5min
August 29, 1941
Additional materials
Historical Background Sideshow

Admin comments

One of the greatest movies ever. This is far more than a piece of fine dramatic cinema with a phenomenal cast. The writing is high-wire taut and its courtroom scenes in particular make for riveting viewing. Heidemarie Hatheyer's performance as the young wife is especially transcendent. This is truly an eye-opening film and a lot of the ethical and moral stigma surrounding the issue to this day are based in religion or feelings not in reason. This film helps you to understand that and rethink your stance. The debate in the jury room (over the euthanizing of the wife and the guilt of her murderer) is one of the best written and deepest dialogs in cinematic history. Nothing even close to this was produced in Jewish shtetl Marxist Hollywood.

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