Movie review of “Labyrinth of Lies”: German denial of the Holocaust is the subject of this curious drama starring André Szymanski as a journalist and Alexander Fehling as a prosecutor investigating the past. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 4.

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The year is 1958, the place is Germany and, in the words of one World War II survivor, “the country needs a sugarcoating.”

Signs of Holocaust denial are everywhere, sometimes taking the form of a swastika-painted rock thrown through the window of a “traitor.” More common are lawyers who belonged to the Nazis one day, then suddenly became “resistance fighters” once the war was over.

“Labyrinth of Lies” follows the path of a naive prosecutor (Alexander Fehling) who gradually becomes aware of the nature of the Holocaust when he joins forces with a journalist (André Szymanski). Together, they’re overwhelmed by a story that involves Josef Mengele, Adolf Eichmann and other war criminals in hiding.

Movie Review ★★½  

‘Labyrinth of Lies,’ with André Szymanski, Alexander Fehling. Directed by Giulio Ricciarelli, from a screenplay by Ricciarelli and Elisabeth Bartel. 124 minutes. Rated R for a scene of sexuality. In German, with English subtitles. Sundance Cinemas (21+).

Directed by Italian-born Giulio Ricciarelli, the movie reveals so many secrets and twists that it threatens to dilute its message. When a visit to Auschwitz becomes little more than an appreciation of a pretty meadow, the script flirts with banality.

Uneven performances and a hard-to-buy love story don’t help, nor does a tribute to the fatherland that makes you think of the Nazi anthem “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” from “Cabaret.” It’s as if the characters are suddenly stricken with an all-is-forgiven epiphany and “life is beautiful.”