In the chaotic last two weeks of World War II, in April 1945, Willi Herold, a 19-year-old private, ragged and starving, barely manages to escape being gunned down by his fellow countrymen. Trying to steal some eggs at a nearby farm, he ends up killing the farmer, which marks the beginning of his transformation from the condemned to the judge, a desperate man who in dire straits has no qualms of participating in the evil himself. He soon finds an abandoned car with a Captain’s uniform, a coat and shoes. Gathering a group of deserters, he proceeds to kill and plunder his way through a beaten Nazi Germany. The role of a man deciding the lives and deaths of others on a whim immediately starts feeling natural.
“I wanted to make a film about the structural dynamics of national socialism. /…/ I found it interesting to make a film about that period of time with a character who was not motivated by ideology, or even by ambition, but simply by the desire to survive, a desire that of course evolves as he gains power. I wanted to make a film about people who are rushed into a situation and how they manage.” (Robert Schwentke)
Born in Stuttgart, in 1968. In 1992, he graduated in filmmaking from the Los Angeles Columbia College Hollywood. A filmmaker and writer, he has gained renown with films that include Flightplan, RED and two films in the Divergent series: Insurgent and Allegiant.