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GUARANTEED FRESH as of Friday January 19, 2018 at 8:31 am Listings are for Friday 1/19 through Thursday 1/25

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Taking Sides

Viewed as a parable, this historical drama is amazingly timely. It's based on a true tale of Wilhelm Furtwangler (played here by Stellan Skarsgård), the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. One of the most renowned conductors of the '30s, Furtwang became the subject of a rabid Nazi hunt in the post-war era. Harvey Keitel plays the American military prosecutor sent to secure a conviction against the conductor. There's a distracting romance and the usual dull courtroom stuff, but the essence of the film is pretty potent. Was Furtwangler complicit in Nazi crimes simply because he didn't leave Germany? Or did American forces go too far in "creating" an enemy? In times of war, are simplistic labels like "good" and "evil" even relevant? A solid think piece. 108 minutes