WAR & PEACE
TV & Satellite Week|January 15, 2022
A thrilling new film focuses on Neville Chamberlain’s ill-fated deal with Adolf Hitler
IAN MACEWAN
NEW DRAMA

Munich: The Edge of War From Friday 21 January, Netflix

Neville Chamberlain is remembered as the Prime Minister whose 1938 Munich agreement with Adolf Hitler – in which Britain and Germany undertook not to go to war – was considered, in some eyes, to be a shameful act of appeasement.

However, Netflix’s new political drama Munich: The Edge of War, based on a novel by Robert Harris, paints the Conservative politician, who is played by Jeremy Irons, in a very different light.

Charting the build-up to the signing of the agreement, the film combines real-life events with a thrilling fictional story of two old University of Oxford pals, Hugh Legat (George MacKay) and his German friend Paul von Hartmann (Jannis Niewöhner), who play vital roles at the Munich conference.

ON THE BRINK

The meeting of representatives from Germany, France, Britain and Italy was supposedly organised to avert a European war, against the backdrop of Adolf Hitler’s claims on the Sudetenland, a region in Czechoslovakia that was home to three million Germans.

But behind the scenes, Hitler was planning for further expansion across Europe. When Paul – now a German diplomat – comes into possession of a classified document that reveals Hitler’s true intentions, he makes secret contact with Hugh, who is attending the conference as Chamberlain’s translator.

Paul believes the document would prevent Chamberlain from signing the agreement, were he to read it, and sets out on a mission to covertly pass it to Hugh.

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