It is a compelling and thought-provoking story, not surprising for something coming from Clint Eastwood, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the screenplay was written by J. Michael Strazcynski (Bablyon 5 television series), his first feature film -- I will refrain from comment on the dialogue <wink to LMA>.
Here's an excerpt from a Time magazine interview with, as B5 fans know him, JMS:
How much of it is true? It's all a true story. Every bit of it. We wanted to go from "Based on a True Story" to "A True Story" in the credits. To do that, I had to work with Universal Studio's legal department and go through every single scene and provide attribution. Every single scene in that film can be traced to something. I spent a year researching this thing and ended up with 6,000 pages of documentation.
(Additional info about the story development & JMS)
So, given "all" of it is true, makes the effect even more chilling.
How women were treated a mere 70 years ago... things aren't perfect, but we've "come a long way, baby!"
How children were treated a mere 70 years ago... compare the story, say, to episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Adults (and children) are still committing horrible atrocities upon children, but children definitely have a very different place in society than they did. I wonder how many of them realize and appreciate the change.
Political corruption, disenfranchisement, unlimited power in the hands of a small few... definitely things to take to heart.
It's not a 'feel-good' film, y'all (thought there are some happy moments). But something everyone ought to take time to watch.