Sophie Scholl (Julia Jentsch, who astonishes at every turn), along with her brother Hans (Fabian Hinrichs) and four friends, were the only members of an anti-Nazi organization called The White Rose. Over the few short months of the group's existence in 1941 and 1942, they printed and distributed six leaflets to German and Austrian citizens, decrying the Nazi regime and urging resistance. Caught and convicted of high treason, troop demoralization, and aiding the enemy, Sophie Scholl was executed in Munich on February 22, 1943. She was 21.

Though Scholl is is something of an icon in Germany, she's virtually unknown here in the US, which is why Marc Rothemund’s Oscar-nominated Sophie Scholl - The Final Days is such a revelation. Using sources including newly-available Nazi interrogation notes, Rothemund’s fictional film explores the last few days of Scholl’s life in searing detail, from the printing of the fateful pamphlet on the night of February 17 to her death only five days later. Aided by a pair of remarkable performances, he has created a film that does his central character the honor of not only living up to her legacy, but also making it relevant to modern audiences.