German government has a change of mind on Bryan Singer-directed "Valkyrie", the WWII thriller based on the July Plot of German officials to assassinate Hitler. Delighting the filmmakers, the country’s finance ministry finally decided to let the project use the Bendlerblock, the original site where conspirators of the assassination plot were executed.
Spokesman for the ministry, Thorsten Albig, told Bild newspaper there had been a change of heart about allowing the film’s crew to shoot at the site, now a memorial and national German shrine. Known to be responsible for all property owned by the German federal government, the department initially denied the producers permission to take scenes there, explaining that it should be treated as a "place of remembrance and mourning" which would "lose dignity if we were to exploit it as a film set."
"The latest request by the film team was given a positive answer," Albig remarked. "There was a different feeling about the project. We will take a closer look with director Bryan Singer at the location and, while ensuring that the dignity of the shrine is protected, see what's possible and what's not."
The initial rejection of the request to shoot at the Bendlerblock had ignited a wave of support for the picture from leading German newspaper columnists and filmmakers, including Wolfgang Petersen. The pack admonished their countrymen for being small minded, ignoring the chance to share the historical events with a global audience and demonstrate that there was in fact resistance to Hitler.