Deutschland bleiche Mutter (Germany Pale Mother) (1980)
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Deutschland bleiche Mutter (Germany Pale Mother) Photos
Critic Reviews for Deutschland bleiche Mutter (Germany Pale Mother)
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Audience Reviews for Deutschland bleiche Mutter (Germany Pale Mother)
With her film "Germany, Pale Mother," writer-director Helma Sanders-Brahms takes a contemplative look at the collective memory of Germany, bringing it down to a very personal level. The movie starts with a reading of the title poem by Bertolt Brecht, read by Brecht's daughter. The action opens with Sanders-Brahms(born in 1940) recalling the meeting of her parents, Lene(Eva Mattes) and Hans(Ernst Jacobi), which would have been romantic if not for the presence of Nazi soldiers on the scene. Neither is a member of the Party which while not a statement on their part still has consequences for them since Hans is one of the first soldiers called up to duty in Poland before being sent to France, as the couple at first does not decide to have children. As time goes on, he sees his wife everywhere and it becomes clear that they are changing, even if they do not admit it to themselves. After the war, there is no way to escape the horror of the war in the ruins. Eventually, it is put out of mind by the survivors, before leaving it to the next generation to recall it on their own terms, as the question becomes how much children really notice what is going on around them.
Dull and familiar, loaded with incidents of trauma that feel contrived and moments of forced poignancy. Such as when Mattes tells her daughter a Grimm tale while exploring the ruins of a crematorium. One of the characters in the tale says "you're in the house of a murderer" while they linger beside the OVENS! O, how meaningful! The film is just barely engaging enough to slog through it, and from a technical standpoint I have no complaints, but it's a rather dreary and unfulfilling experience.
A German mother and daughter trek through piles of World War II rubble. It's a stunning portrait of the effects of the war on the women at home, but it starts getting ridiculous when bad things start happening to these people for no thematic/dramatic/damn good reason. Plus: There's a really disgusting scene involving dentistry!
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