Germany, Year Zero Reviews

  • Jan 12, 2019

    Devastating picture; it rightfully can be called a horror movie, a real-life horror is depicted graphically in this black and white masterpiece. The nightmarish images of the bombed out Berlin create an unforgettable effect; the problems of the Germans in the immediate aftermath of the war are shown in minute details, with the center being a little boy, an innocent victim of the transpired events. Very forceful cinema, that doesn't shove into your throat its political bias or anything like that; it's way more effective in its cold-blooded portrayal of life itself. The shot of the boy running his hand over his disillusioned face at the end will forever stay in my mind.

    Devastating picture; it rightfully can be called a horror movie, a real-life horror is depicted graphically in this black and white masterpiece. The nightmarish images of the bombed out Berlin create an unforgettable effect; the problems of the Germans in the immediate aftermath of the war are shown in minute details, with the center being a little boy, an innocent victim of the transpired events. Very forceful cinema, that doesn't shove into your throat its political bias or anything like that; it's way more effective in its cold-blooded portrayal of life itself. The shot of the boy running his hand over his disillusioned face at the end will forever stay in my mind.

  • Aug 25, 2017

    A movie about a boy who is trying to survive in a ruined Germany where everyone is just trying to survive and not caring about the other. Most of the time you are scared what will happen to the boy next and heartbroken how he is forced to take a bigger share on everybody else's wellbeing than a boy of that age can in any way handle. Very good movie, but also sad and unfair.

    A movie about a boy who is trying to survive in a ruined Germany where everyone is just trying to survive and not caring about the other. Most of the time you are scared what will happen to the boy next and heartbroken how he is forced to take a bigger share on everybody else's wellbeing than a boy of that age can in any way handle. Very good movie, but also sad and unfair.

  • Mar 19, 2017

    The most well-crafted film of the trilogy, with sweeping camera moves and intricately staged long single takes. The idea of this world is terribly sad, a society facing it's karma, living in shambles, leeching off each other. Edmund is first seen attempting to get a job as a 13 year-old undertaker, desperate to work to feed his family - he's kicked out. What does it say about a society when the most seemingly available job is to bury masses of dead humans? It also deals with the exploitation of children, prostitution; everyone is desperate to feed themselves, and will do so by any means. There are no standards, it's survival. We always think we have to look to the future for a post-apocalyptic world, but this society already faced it. The score is sinister and well composed music, but distracting with sloppy transitions at times.

    The most well-crafted film of the trilogy, with sweeping camera moves and intricately staged long single takes. The idea of this world is terribly sad, a society facing it's karma, living in shambles, leeching off each other. Edmund is first seen attempting to get a job as a 13 year-old undertaker, desperate to work to feed his family - he's kicked out. What does it say about a society when the most seemingly available job is to bury masses of dead humans? It also deals with the exploitation of children, prostitution; everyone is desperate to feed themselves, and will do so by any means. There are no standards, it's survival. We always think we have to look to the future for a post-apocalyptic world, but this society already faced it. The score is sinister and well composed music, but distracting with sloppy transitions at times.

  • Oct 18, 2016

    This is a very powerful film from director Roberto Rossellini, shot in location in Berlin immediately following the end of WWII. This neo-realist film tell the story of a 12 year boy who spends his day rummaging for food and items for trade to help support his family, which includes a very ill father, a brother hiding from police, and his sister. Gradually the boy ventures down a dark path that forever changes him. The location shooting of the ruins in Berlin really help set the tone for the film which many describe as extremely bleak, and i would have to concur. This is a powerful and emotionally draining film, but very much worth watching as the conclusion to Rosellini's WWII trilogy.

    This is a very powerful film from director Roberto Rossellini, shot in location in Berlin immediately following the end of WWII. This neo-realist film tell the story of a 12 year boy who spends his day rummaging for food and items for trade to help support his family, which includes a very ill father, a brother hiding from police, and his sister. Gradually the boy ventures down a dark path that forever changes him. The location shooting of the ruins in Berlin really help set the tone for the film which many describe as extremely bleak, and i would have to concur. This is a powerful and emotionally draining film, but very much worth watching as the conclusion to Rosellini's WWII trilogy.

  • May 01, 2016

    This is the final installment in Rosselliniâ??s War Trilogy. Unlike his first two films, this one takes place in Germany. It is perhaps the bleakest of the three both in terms of story, as well as theme. The panoramic shots of a devastated Berlin are undeniably disturbing. Rossellini does an incredible job making his viewers uncomfortable with the dark abyss that was post-war Germany and the bitterness and fear that comes with an uncertain future.

    This is the final installment in Rosselliniâ??s War Trilogy. Unlike his first two films, this one takes place in Germany. It is perhaps the bleakest of the three both in terms of story, as well as theme. The panoramic shots of a devastated Berlin are undeniably disturbing. Rossellini does an incredible job making his viewers uncomfortable with the dark abyss that was post-war Germany and the bitterness and fear that comes with an uncertain future.

  • Nov 11, 2015

    The third instalment in Roberto Rossellini's unofficial 'war trilogy' sees the neorealist master tackle an innovative concept at a turbulent time. Germany, Year Zero is a spiralling study of one family's post-war struggles in Berlin, immediately following the collapse of The Third Reich. Rossellini offers a documentarians-eye-view of a city of ruins, rubble and rough uncertainty. His Year Zero Berlin is characterised by pianos chiming through roofless churches, children working to support their families and British troops posing for photos amidst the city's not-so-ancient ruins. The images are harrowing, yet the film's stifling cynicism and detachment from its characters drains it of its potential punch. Rossellini conjures the illusion of humanity, but there's little under the surface of the weeping caricatures that he presents us with as key players and, for this, the film lacks the zing of typical social realist fare. The great director's solemn approach is no doubt poetic and intentional, yet equally frustrating and ineffective under the promise of his premise and reputation. A maddening melodrama.

    The third instalment in Roberto Rossellini's unofficial 'war trilogy' sees the neorealist master tackle an innovative concept at a turbulent time. Germany, Year Zero is a spiralling study of one family's post-war struggles in Berlin, immediately following the collapse of The Third Reich. Rossellini offers a documentarians-eye-view of a city of ruins, rubble and rough uncertainty. His Year Zero Berlin is characterised by pianos chiming through roofless churches, children working to support their families and British troops posing for photos amidst the city's not-so-ancient ruins. The images are harrowing, yet the film's stifling cynicism and detachment from its characters drains it of its potential punch. Rossellini conjures the illusion of humanity, but there's little under the surface of the weeping caricatures that he presents us with as key players and, for this, the film lacks the zing of typical social realist fare. The great director's solemn approach is no doubt poetic and intentional, yet equally frustrating and ineffective under the promise of his premise and reputation. A maddening melodrama.

  • Feb 21, 2015

    Fabulosa película neorrealista. Con una locación maravillosa, nada más y nada menos que la Alemania destruida por la segunda guerra, en este caso nos enfocamos en Berlin. Rossellini es un genio, maestro... y con ese final, bueno hasta aquí decimos.

    Fabulosa película neorrealista. Con una locación maravillosa, nada más y nada menos que la Alemania destruida por la segunda guerra, en este caso nos enfocamos en Berlin. Rossellini es un genio, maestro... y con ese final, bueno hasta aquí decimos.

  • Jan 27, 2015

    We saw this film in my film class and let me tell you, this is one of the most intense film I have seen in a long time. Depicting the precarious and difficult situation of Germany after the end of the war, the film shows that war indeed lasted far longer than we think for the civilian people battling every day to get food and survive in a completely ruined country. The principles , the beliefs and the values have gone out of the window here, because survival is more important than moral. The strength of the film is to show the story through the eyes of a young boy and we accompany him and his relatives on their daily struggle to survive in this post war Germany that seems like an endless desolated landscape filled with ruins and dodgy individuals trying to survive each in their own ways. The film tackles some extremely sensitive topics and I realized how daring and courageous Rossellini has been in the making of this film. some of the themes and images would not even make it to the final cut in a film today because they would be judged too controversial but it seems like people in 1949 (only 4 years after the greatest war of them all) had a lot more guts and convictions than we have today. One of the scene that I really liked is when the young boy goes selling a vinyl to the American soldiers and to show them the machine is working, puts on a Hitler speech that resonates in the ruins of the surrounding buildings. The haunting voice screaming the glory of the German people suddenly takes a complete different and emotional dimension in the middle of the ruins. Very powerful moment. Filled with religious allegories, the film manages to tackle ever aspect of the reconstruction process and the slow recovery of a nation who's lost everything and more in the aftermath of WWII. Strong film, powerful film, the last scene will stick with you for a long time believe me.

    We saw this film in my film class and let me tell you, this is one of the most intense film I have seen in a long time. Depicting the precarious and difficult situation of Germany after the end of the war, the film shows that war indeed lasted far longer than we think for the civilian people battling every day to get food and survive in a completely ruined country. The principles , the beliefs and the values have gone out of the window here, because survival is more important than moral. The strength of the film is to show the story through the eyes of a young boy and we accompany him and his relatives on their daily struggle to survive in this post war Germany that seems like an endless desolated landscape filled with ruins and dodgy individuals trying to survive each in their own ways. The film tackles some extremely sensitive topics and I realized how daring and courageous Rossellini has been in the making of this film. some of the themes and images would not even make it to the final cut in a film today because they would be judged too controversial but it seems like people in 1949 (only 4 years after the greatest war of them all) had a lot more guts and convictions than we have today. One of the scene that I really liked is when the young boy goes selling a vinyl to the American soldiers and to show them the machine is working, puts on a Hitler speech that resonates in the ruins of the surrounding buildings. The haunting voice screaming the glory of the German people suddenly takes a complete different and emotional dimension in the middle of the ruins. Very powerful moment. Filled with religious allegories, the film manages to tackle ever aspect of the reconstruction process and the slow recovery of a nation who's lost everything and more in the aftermath of WWII. Strong film, powerful film, the last scene will stick with you for a long time believe me.

  • Nov 20, 2014

    I imagine this was very hard-hitting at the time; due to the destruction Germany inflicted on the world, I'm thinking very few at the time cared to see the aftermath and misery Germany endured after the war. It's also interesting seeing this from an Italian perspective; Rossellini, coming from a country also dealing with its war past, feels to be saying "this could have also been us." Italy surely didn't come out of the war unscathed, but Germany's fate could ended up Italy's.

    I imagine this was very hard-hitting at the time; due to the destruction Germany inflicted on the world, I'm thinking very few at the time cared to see the aftermath and misery Germany endured after the war. It's also interesting seeing this from an Italian perspective; Rossellini, coming from a country also dealing with its war past, feels to be saying "this could have also been us." Italy surely didn't come out of the war unscathed, but Germany's fate could ended up Italy's.

  • Carlos M Super Reviewer
    Nov 15, 2014

    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.

    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.