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Quotations from The Reader

The Reader is a romantic drama film about Michael Berg telling the story of his young and mysterious love. The film follows Michael as he encounters his love once again at a Post-WWII war-crime trial where she is being tried for killing people in a barn. The movie continues by showing a flashback of when he first met the woman, fell in love with her, and read to her. Through his memories, he realizes that the woman signed a document that is used against her even though she cannot read what the document says. He believes she is innocent, but does nothing to help. Directed by Stephen Daldry. Starring Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross and Bruno Ganz. Based on the novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink.

The Reader won the Oscar award for Best Actress (Kate Winslet) and was nominated for four other categories, including Best Motion Picture. The movie, even though it only received slightly positive reviews upon release, has since been considered as one of the best films of the 2000s and one of the greatest romantic dramas in history. It was a financial success at the box office. Continue reading for some quotes from The Reader.


Michael: I'm not frightened. I'm not frightened of anything. The more I suffer, the more I love. Danger will only increase my love. It will sharpen it, forgive its vice. I will be the only angel you need. You will leave life even more beautiful than you ended it. Heaven will take you back and look at you and say: Only one thing can make a soul complete and that thing is love.
Hanna Schmitz: It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter what I feel. The dead are still dead.
Young Ilana Mather: [Testifying in court] Each of the guards would choose a certain number of women. Hanna Schmitz chose differently.
Judge: In what way differently?
Young Ilana Mather: She had favourites. Girls, mostly young. We all remarked on it, she gave them food and places to sleep. In the evening, she asked them to join her. We all thought - well, you can imagine what we thought. Then we found out - she was making these women read aloud to her. They were reading to her. At first we thought this guard... this guard is more sensitive... she's more human... she's kinder. Often she chose the weak, the sick, she picked them out, she seemed to be protecting them almost. But then she dispatched them. Is that kinder?
Michael Berg: I can't live without you. The thought of leaving you kills me. Do you love me?
Brigitte: You didn't wake me.
Michael Berg: You were sleeping.
Brigitte: You let me sleep because you can't bear to have breakfast with me.
Michael Berg: I was fifteen. I was coming home from school. I was feeling ill. And a woman helped me.
Teacher: The notion of secrecy is central to western literature. You may say, the whole idea of character is defined by people holding specific information which for various reasons, sometimes perverse, sometimes noble, they are determined not to disclose.
Next: Red Dragon
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