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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Costa-Gavras
Produced by Andrei Boncea
Michèle Ray-Gavras
Written by Jean-Claude Grumberg
Starring Ulrich Tukur
Mathieu Kassovitz
Ion Caramitru
Marcel Iureş
Music by Armand Amar
Cinematography Patrick Blossier
Edited by Yannick Kergoat
Distributed by Kino International (USA)
Pathé (France)
Release dates
Running time
132 minutes
Country Germany
Language English
Budget 15,700,000 €
Box office 11,217,610 € (France)

Amen. is a 2002 German, Romanian and French film directed by Costa-Gavras.


The film Amen. examines the links between the Vatican and Nazi Germany. The central character is Kurt Gerstein (Ulrich Tukur), a Waffen-SS officer employed in the SS Hygiene Institute, designing programs for the purification of water and the destruction of vermin. He is shocked to learn that the process he has developed to eradicate typhus, by using a hydrogen cyanide mixture called Zyklon B, is now being used for killing Jews in extermination camps. Gerstein attempts to notify Pope Pius XII (Marcel Iureş) about the gassings, but is appalled by the lack of response he gets from the Catholic hierarchy. The only person moved is Riccardo Fontana (Mathieu Kassovitz), a young Jesuit priest.

While the character of Kurt Gerstein is historical, the character of the young priest is fictional. Although it based on the alleged action of Gerstein to stop and bring global awareness to the Holocaust, the plot is largely fictitious.



The film is based on a 1963 play by Rolf Hochhuth, The Deputy, a Christian Tragedy, which was widely attacked in Catholic and Jewish circles for its unrealistic portrayal of Pope Pius XII. The German-language version of the film was released under the play's original title Der Stellvertreter.

Since the Holy See did not allow filming in the Vatican, the scenes in the papal palaces were shot in the Palace of the Parliament of Bucharest, Romania.

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