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By Doug Brunell | May 9, 2006

The Nazis and the atrocities the group committed is a staple of film both serious and exploitative. “The Aryan Couple” is one of the serious films, though it is somewhat less moving than its peers.

Hans (Kenny Doughty) and his wife Ingrid (Caroline Carver) are “Aryans” working for a wealthy Jewish man named Joseph Krausenberg (Martin Landau), whose vast estate and museum-quality artwork has caught the eye of Himmler (Danny Webb). Himmler likes it so much that he cuts the man a deal: Sign it all over to him and get a free ticket out of the country. There’s one problem, though. Hans and Ingrid aren’t Aryan. They are Jewish, and they are spies. Krausenberg doesn’t know this, but Himmler is about to, and that will really ruin a few lives.

Despite some tense scenes, this movie still falls fairly flat. It doesn’t engage the viewer enough, though it does get points for making the Nazi characters more human than monster; it’s easy to see how greed and lust affects even the most rigid nationalist. In far too many serious films of this nature, Nazis are portrayed as cold-blooded demons, which is how history would like us to believe they were. “The Aryan Couple” takes a different route and makes them more emotionally flawed and interesting, though still reprehensible.

If you’re looking for a movie to brighten your day, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for something that reaffirms the common view of the Nazis, think again. If, however, overly long, emotionally unengaging (though occasionally compelling) stories are your thing, you’ve found the perfect film.

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