Germany, Year Zero (1949)
Germany, Year Zero (1949)
Critic Consensus: An early masterpiece from director Roberto Rossellini, Germany Year Zero plunges viewers into real-life horror.
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This German tragedy (the literal English translation is Germany in the Year Zero) tells the disturbing tale of a little boy's struggle to adjust to life after the war.
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as Edmund Koehler
as Eva Koehier
as Eva Koehler
as Karlheinz Koehler
as Eva's Friend
as Rademacher's Daughte...
as Mr. Rademacher
as General von Laubniz
as Mrs. Rademacher
as The Doctor
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Critic Reviews for Germany, Year Zero
The colossal rubble of Berlin is not just an analogue to the collapse of the social order but an amazing sight, and the movie makes you feel the weight of every smashed façade and fallen stone.
Pic isn't acted but 'lived.' Pro and non-pro cast play it with uniform sincerity. Edmund Meschke is the most impressive of the lot, delivering a poignant, believable portrayal as the young disgraced hero.
The sum effect of the presentation is a sense of bleak discomfort and despair, unrelieved by any purge of the emotions.
To the critics of the time, it seemed that Rossellini had betrayed the tenets of neorealism...It now appears as Rossellini's first mature work, pointing to his masterpieces of the 50s.
Audience Reviews for Germany, Year Zero
Even if it tends to diverge a bit from neorealism into melodrama, especially in its last moments, this is a gut-wrenching tale set against the wreckage of a post-war Berlin, about a tragic boy who embodies the pain of a collapsed society struggling to survive.
the bombed out ruins of berlin are used to great effect here. a really hard hitting film for 1947
[font=Century Gothic]In "Germany, Year Zero," 12-year old Edmund(Edmund Meschke) does not go to school or play much, instead foraging for food in the ruins of postwar Berlin due to his family being short on ration cards because of his brother Karl-Heinz(Franz Gruger) being afraid to report to the police because of his wartime activities. His sister Eva(Ingetraud Hinz) helps out as much as she can, mooching cigarettes in the evening which can be traded in for food. While living in a multifamily apartment, all are in support of their invalid father(Ernst Pittschau). One day while trying to sell a scale, Edmund runs into Enning(Erich Guhne), an old teacher...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Directed by Roberto Rossellini, "Germany, Year Zero" is helped out enormously by location filming in developing a powerful portrait of a country trying to recover from a disastrous war. With little work and food to go around, the people are often forced to go hungry, a dire situation that is made worse if they have any sick that have to be cared for. While not judging any of the characters, the movie also makes the point that a lack of a moral authority in the wake of the poisonous Nazi regime can also lead to the unthinkable being possible again.[/font]
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