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Anonyma - Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin) (2009)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 7

With a powerful lead performance by star Nina Hoss, A Woman in Berlin sheds a light on the moral complications of war.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 3

With a powerful lead performance by star Nina Hoss, A Woman in Berlin sheds a light on the moral complications of war.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 62,339

My Rating

Movie Info

The horrors and moral compromises of war set the stage for this harrowing drama from director Max Färberböck, based on a true story. An anonymous female reporter (Nina Hoss) is living in Berlin in the spring of 1945; most of the city has been reduced to rubble by bombing, the German army has been decimated, and most of those left behind are expecting the arrival of Russian troops and fearful of what awaits them. The reporter is one of a number of women who are hiding wherever they can in the


Art House & International, Drama

Max Färberböck

Nov 10, 2009

Strand Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (7) | DVD (2)

A clear-eyed portrait of a highly charged chapter in Germany's history, a history that once again proves rewarding fodder for an alert artistic imagination.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No one is guiltless-not the Russian commander (Yevgeny Sidikhin) who takes the heroine as his lover, nor her bourgeois landlady (Fassbinder alumnus Irm Hermann), who welcomes the occupiers for their black market goods.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is well-acted, with restraint, by Hoss and Sidikhin. The writer and director, Max Faerberboeck, employs a level gaze and avoids for the most part artificial sentimentality. The physical production is convincing.

September 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sometimes a movie based on true events is forceful out of all proportion to its middling presentation.

August 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] brutal, unforgettable film.

August 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though the story is based in truth, an emotionally removed Hoss feels more like a symbol than an actual person, while her detached narration keeps us at further remove.

July 17, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An honourable effort to illustrate a period in post-war German history that remained conveniently shrouded for years.

February 16, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The suffering of these Berlin women, however tragic, is decontextualized from the infinitely greater crimes against humanity's millions by Germany at the time, which in fact was responsible for their fate.

December 18, 2009 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

It's a rigorous adaptation, handsomely mounted and with fine performances, but totally impersonal.

December 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

That rarest of wartime dramas: an intimate, sorrowful glimpse into the heart and loins of the hellish aftermath of war.

October 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Though deliberately paced and somewhat repetitive, it's...powerful and enlightening.

October 6, 2009 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

This sobering account of such tragic events deserves kudos for avoiding sensationalizing a subject matter that easily could be exploited.

September 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Like The Reader, this film treads unsteadily over the terrain of German guilt.

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian

A disturbing memoir of rape and conquest.

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: MTV

evokes the meaninglessness of trying to find morals in war

August 25, 2009 Full Review Source:

This little-known, morally complex tale of German women's endurance in WWII raises interesting questions and almost forces you to take a stance.

August 7, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Now it can be told: the ugly truth that German women cooperated with the Russian enemy to avoid rape, and what's more appear to have developed affection for the conquerors!

July 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Compuserve

Captivating and emotionally resonating with a powerfully raw performance by Nina Hoss.

July 18, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

Audience Reviews for Anonyma - Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin)

What a well done movie! This is a side of war that I never realized existed. I really do love movies based around Nazi Germany, and I am finding that there are many more that I havent seen via the foreign film genre.
October 14, 2010

Super Reviewer

With the recent success of The Reade, the notion of a German woman receiving empathy from an audience is kind of the hot issue. Especially if that German woman is portrayed to be, or have been, a Nazi sympathizer. Well, enter A Woman in Berlin.

In this real-life story (inspired by the anonymous writings of a journalist woman who lived in the conquered city of Belin during the final stages of the war,) is a true work of art and storytelling. It's inspired and striking all at once. No screenwriter, however clever or prominent, could have ever been able to come up with a story so divisive and emotionally manipulative. No, only real life could have concocted such a miserably cold and true depiction of event rarely portrayed in film.

Our anonymous woman takes us on a journey through her world, and the world of those remaining in Berlin during the end of Hitler's Germany. In essence, we see that the remaining civilians (comprised primarily of seniors, young children and the so-called "weaker" sex) were victimized brutally by the invading (or should it read: liberating) forces of the Red Army (Russia.) Furthermore, it is with brilliant efficacy that our anonymous writer conveys that is was these women who were the remaining soldier's on the front lines of Germany's scarred urban battlefields.

We meet our protagonist in an era before the height of war. We meet her in a time in history where we may presume her to be a sympathizer of hate and prejudice. She is vibrant and idealistic about the future of her country, blindly subscribing to manipulative ideas and philosophies that were shrouded in a blanket of national pride.

Flash forward to a time where misery prevails and the tables are turned. Many themes are evident in this film and is reveals and unravels itself slowly, yet efficiently -- like the speed at which a woman sheepishly undresses for her male predator moments before her body's inevitable ravaging.

Obviously, the plight of women is magnificently portrayed in this film. More specifically: the dismal day-to-day living of the German women who were to be punished for the wrong-doings of their country's leaders, none of whom they'd ever met.

Defenseless and battered, the women must fend for themselves as their remaining men find themselves spirited away to Siberia or worse for the crimes that their father have committed. It is with great success that other shades are painted around what is considered to be right and wrong in times of war.

The are a myriad moral subtexts to be gathered. Namely, who is the liberator and what does liberating mean? How do you avoid succumbing to the thirst with which revenge nags? What lines must be crossed or avoided in order to keep yourself from becoming the very essence of the hate you've hoped to extinguish?

Ultimately, as we learn from our anonymous heroine, such judgments are irrelevant when your only goal in life is to remain attached to life itself. Your perception of the world and its concepts can never remain in your mind unscathed or unblemished. That way of seeing the world will always be altered and affected by the events that transpire in it. Therefore, the way you love; the way you fight; the way you live will never be the same again.
August 20, 2009

Super Reviewer

"A Woman in Berlin," written and directed by Max Farberbock and starring the great Nina Hoss, is a treasure. Most immediately it is about the epidemic of rape that the women of Berlin suffered at the hands of the invading Soviet Army in 1945. But it also opens up to become an infinitely complex meditation on warfare and the unique feelings of excitement and dread that accompany the downfall of one world and its replacement by another. It also nobly tries to reckon with the particular rivalry and comradeship that for centuries has marked the collisions of German-speaking and Russian-speaking Europeans. Bravo to Herr Farberbock, an artist of singular courage.
August 4, 2009
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

Based on a controversial memoir, "A Woman in Berlin" is a harrowing piece of history that is rarely discussed. Its only serious drawback is the inclusion of a love triangle or two which uncomfortably pushes the movie into soap opera territory.

"A Woman in Berlin" starts on April 26, 1945 as Soviet troops are advancing through a Berlin populated mostly by women and old men who are nervous at the possibility of the advancing troops seeking revenge for Nazi atrocities. One Soviet unit is frustrated by not being allowed to advance to the Reichstag and start out by holding a block party in the streets while awaiting further orders. Things quickly turn bad for the citizens when raids are made into the apartment buildings to rape the women.(One of the scariest moments in the film involves a quiet conversation about syphilis around the dinner table.) Inside of one is a journalist(Nina Hoss) who has lived in London, Paris and Moscow and drawn back by patriotism to her native Berlin while her husband Gerd(August Diehl) is serving in the army. Her Russian is good enough to communicate and she is knowledgeable enough to recognize rank to find Andrei(Yevgeni Sidikhin), a major, to cut a deal for protection but he refuses to help. So, she works her way down the food chain to Anatol(Roman Gribkov), a lieutenant, who comes and goes as he pleases. To her, this is not rape, maybe prostitution. However, it is still rape, even without the violence, because she has no choice not to have sex. Whatever the case, the women have nothing to be ashamed of. It is the men who do.
August 3, 2009
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • A Woman in Berlin (Anonyma - Eine Frau in Berlin) (DE)
  • Anonyma - The Downfall of Berlin (UK)
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