2008 Documentary Rated PG-13
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Kevin Macdonald's return to documentaries, after his Oscar winning film THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, is an uncompromising, unsettling and provocative dark journey into the world of Klaus Barbie. The former Gestapo commander terrorized Lyon and the surrounding region from November 1942 to August 1944. This shadowy voyage, rife with government conspiracy and violent bloodshed, culminates with the infamous 1987 French trial for his role in Hitler's final solution.
Known as "The Butcher of Lyon" for his hand in the torture and murder of hundreds of civilians during WWII, we follow Barbie as he turns from rampant Nazi war criminal to American counter intelligence and interrogation officer. Despite the fact that Barbie's victims sought justice for his war crimes, his newfound western allies harbored him. In exchange, they used his invaluable skills in quelling rebel organizations and obtaining important military intelligence in their fight against the threat of communism.
He was responsible for the deportation of 44 innocent children to Nazi death camps in Auschwitz and the capture and execution of national resistance heroes Jean Moulin and Che Guevara. Barbie roamed freely, from Europe to South America, facilitating military operations throughout the world.
One can only wonder to what extent this single man, used by his enemy, against his enemy's enemy, changed the shape of the world we live in today.
Rated PG-13 for disturbing violent images, descriptions of war atrocities and torture, and thematic material.
Released by The Weinstein Company. See more credits.