Kenneth Branagh, Stanley
Tucci and Colin Firth star in Conspiracy, an
award-winning HBO Films/BBC Films co-production
for BBC TWO
January 20th 1942, 15 men gathered in a villa
on the outskirts of Berlin to feast on food
and drink and discuss their business at hand.
An hour and a half later, the Final Solution
had been planned, sealing the fate of millions
of European Jews.
Conspiracy: The Meeting at Wannsee - which was
recently nominated for three Golden Globe Awards
and won two Emmy Awards - stars Kenneth Branagh
as Reinhard Heydrich, Stanley Tucci as Adolf
Eichmann and Colin Firth as Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart.
It recreates one of the most infamous gatherings
in world history - the meeting at Wannsee, outside
Berlin, when the administrative apparatus of
the Third Reich was mobilised by Reinhard Heydrich
to set in motion the detailed plans of the Final
Adolf Eichmann prepared 30 top-secret copies
of the meetings minutes. By the fall of
the Reich, they had all disappeared or been
destroyed - all but one. Conspiracy is based
on the sole surviving copy of the Wannsee
Protocol, which was found in the files
of the Reichs Foreign Office. It is one
of the few written proofs of the
extent of Hitlers plans to annihilate
all of European Jewry.
Written by Loring Mandel and directed by Frank
Pierson, Conspiracy: The Meeting at Wannsee
is shown as part of a number of programmes commemorating
Holocaust Memorial Day. The film also stars
David Threlfall, Ian McNeice, Ben Daniels, Kevin
McNally, Ewan Stewart and Nicholas Woodeson.
Conspiracy, an HBO Films/BBC Films co-production,
recently received three nominations at the 2002
Golden Globe Awards: Best Mini-Series or Motion
Picture Made for Television; Best Performance
by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture
Made for Television (for Kenneth Branagh); and
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting
Role in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture (for
Stanley Tucci). It also won two major awards
at the 53rd Annual Prime Time Emmy awards: Lead
Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Kenneth
Branagh and Writing for a Miniseries or a Movie
for Loring Mandel.
Kenneth Branagh says of Reinhard Heydrich: He
displayed a dazzling economy of effort. Just
by the force of his personality, his determination
to push it through and his superb management
skills, he was able to ensure that the most
catastrophic event of the 20th century was initiated
in just 90 minutes.
Conspiracy: The Meeting at Wannsee was critically
acclaimed when it was shown on HBO. The Los
Angeles Times described it as an uncomfortably
real, brilliantly realised reprise of the Jan.
20, 1942, gathering, and concluded that
Most notable is Kenneth Branaghs
smarmy SS Gen. Heydrich, aiming his eyes menacingly
when not being charming and witty, the glib
ideal host for a dinner party, and for a hanging.
The Hollywood Reporter said that the film points
out the stunning ease with which the seeds of
mass evil can germinate and thrive, and
wrote that Leads Kenneth Branagh and Stanley
Tucci turn in exceptional, restrained performances.
The producer is Nick Gillot, and the executive
producers are Frank Pierson, Frank Doelger,
David M. Thompson and Peter Zinner.