The Reader

The Reader

DVD - 2009
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What have we learned (and what might we have forgotten) from history's bloody backwash? Guilt, love, and history are three skeins, woven together to create human beings or, alternately, human monsters. The question of wartime culpability undergirds the May-December romance in postwar Berlin between Hanna, a weary-looking, sexually rapacious streetcar ticket-taker and Michael, a young schoolboy whom she seduces, ravenously and to his great delight. One day, Hanna is gone, with no explanation, and Michael grows into a promising young law student. His class attends a trial, where the new Germany judges the past and, by default, the lovers as well.
Audience: OFRB rating: 14A.
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : The Weinstein Company Home Entertainment, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
Branch Call Number: DVD FIC Reade
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (124 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
Language Note: In English or dubbed French with optional subtitles in English for the deaf and hard of hearing, or Spanish.


From the critics

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Sep 18, 2018

A coming-of-age story where the protagonists, Hanna and Michael, are doomed to disappointment by age difference and historical circumstances. Hanna Schmitz takes the rap for the deaths of 300 concentration camp inmates and is sent to prison for 20 years but there is no redemption even as being "a listener" reveals the injustice of her conviction.

Quite a good film but it has some gaps that are only solved by watching the deleted scenes.

Dec 04, 2017

A pretty good movie. Kate Winslet is outstanding. I did find myself wishing it was over in a couple of very dull segments.

Sep 25, 2017

Older woman seduces teenage boy. Most of the reviews are good but I found this off-putting and not a story I wanted to watch. DVD ejected!

Jun 23, 2017

First, let me recommend that you watch the DELETED scenes. They contain very relevant and provocative material that was omitted. I felt that this movie was an amazing portrayal of many complex issues, not the least of which is the tension that arises when a youth-formed passion is confronted by heinous behavior, even that not arising out of intended malice. Excellent acting.

ArapahoeKati Jun 22, 2017

Whenever I think of "Schindler's List," I also think of this film. It's spot on--every line, every scene is exquisitely crafted. A must-see.

Mar 22, 2017

One of the best movies I have ever seen! The acting was outstanding; Kate Winslett truly deserved the Oscar for Best Actress that she won. What sets this movie apart are the multiple layers of depth that only can be recognized and appreciated after several viewings. A must see!!

Mar 15, 2017

Tragic movie. One of the main messages was that the female guards of Auschwitz were being "made an example of" even though there were thousands of camps where Jews were murdered. I think this tragic truth was swept under the rug by this movie. More should have been said about the thousands of other incidents.

Aug 21, 2016

This is a 2008 German-American romantic drama directed by Stephen Daldry, based on the 1995 German novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink.
It tells the story of Michael Berg, a German lawyer who as a mid-teenager in 1958 had an affair with an older woman, Hanna Schmitz, who then disappeared only to resurface years later as one of the defendants in a war crimes trial stemming from her actions as a guard at a Nazi concentration camp.
Michael realizes that Hanna is keeping a personal secret she believes is worse than her Nazi past.
This secret which, if revealed, could help her at the trial.
Well, everybody has a secret or two, but Hanna's secret seems trivial to others, but she consideres it too serious to disclose it.
It is an intriguing and thought-provoking romance-mystery.

Sep 08, 2015

Horrible. Why do they have to ruin a good story with nudity thrown in your face. I prefer older movies where it actually focused on the plot and not some Hollywood star's physical attributes. I don't recommend this movie at all.

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Jul 31, 2011

bdls206 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

May 20, 2011

varaidzo89 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Oct 31, 2009

cstabix thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Dec 16, 2012

Teacher: "The notion of secrecy is central to Western literature. You may say, the whole idea of character is defined by people holding specific information which for various reasons, sometimes perverse, sometimes noble, they are determined not to disclose."

Jul 31, 2011

Michael: I'm not frightened. I'm not frightened of anything. The more I suffer, the more I love. Danger will only increase my love. It will sharpen it, forgive its vice. I will be the only angel you need. You will leave life even more beautiful than you entered it. Heaven will take you back and look at you and say: Only one thing can make a soul complete and that thing is love.

Jul 31, 2011

Hanna Schmitz: It doesn't matter what I feel. It doesn't matter what I think. The dead are still dead.


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Sep 06, 2011

A fifteen year old boy, Michael, has an affair with an older woman, Hanna, in post WWII Germany. Hanna, lonely and a little troubled, seems to get solace from having Michael read to her. One day, Michael stops by her appartment only to find her gone.
Years later, Michael is a law student and attends a Nazi war crime trial where they meet again.

Jul 31, 2011

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.


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Feb 21, 2012

Sexual Content: and nudity

Jul 31, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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