Germany year zero

Germany year zero

DVD - 1948 | German
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The concluding chapter of Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy is the most devastating, a portrait of an obliterated Berlin seen through the eyes of a 12-year old boy. Living in a bombed-out apartment building with his sick father and two older siblings, young Edmund is mostly left to wander unsupervised, getting ensnared in the black market schemes of a group of teenagers and coming under the nefarious influence of a Nazi-sympathizing ex-teacher.


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Feb 01, 2014

This is the third film in Rossellini's "War Trilogy." The first two films take place in Italy, while this is set in post-war Germany. Given what the Italians had gone through at the hands of the Germans, this is a rather extraordinary act of empathy to depict the everyday lives of Germans struggling to survive in their devastated city. The hero is a young boy who lives with his invalid father, his pretty sister and his shiftless veteran brother. Some viewers might find the look and style of the film crude and cheap, but Rossellini was not trying to make an art film, but trying to capture something authentic, which I think he does. Also, see "Ivan's Childhood."


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