Germany, Year Zero (1949)
Germany, Year Zero (1949)
Germany, Year Zero Photos
as Edmund Koehler
as Eva Koehier
as Eva Koehler
as Karlheinz Koehler
as Eva's Friend
as Rademacher's Daughter
as Mr. Rademacher
as General von Laubniz
as Mrs. Rademacher
as The Doctor
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
While many argue that "Germany Year Zero" is just misery stacked upon misery with nothing else, sometimes that's life and is reality for people. This is the third and final film in Rossellini's War Trilogy and is by far the shortest and to the point, running at 73 minutes while the others are closer to 120 minutes. In no way does the run time hinder the message of the film, rather it makes the message clear and hard. The film's protagonist is a twelve year old boy named Edmund Koehler who along with his brother and sister must care for their weak and dying father. Edmund's older brother was in the German army and thus is in hiding due to the allied forces being in power at the end of WWII. This means that there are four people trying to surviving on three rations, leading them all to struggle day to day. Edmund helps in any way he can, often making mistakes and being taken advantage of in many ways but It's clear his intentions are heroic and noble. After helping an old teacher sell items and make a little money, Edmund begins to get brain washed by the teacher who constantly speaks of being brave and letting the weak die and the strong live. It's due to this that Edmund proceeds down a rough and ultimately fatal downwards spiral. The film itself is a lonely and dark coming of age film in wore torn Germany and is almost a horror film for the neo-realist genre.
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