Murderers Are Among Us (Die Mörder sind unter uns) (1946)
Critic Reviews for Murderers Are Among Us (Die Mörder sind unter uns)
While not fully successful, either as drama or ideology, film is marked by superb camera and montage technique recalling some of the firstrate German productions before the Nazi era.
A confused and rambling study of disillusionment in post-war Germany is presented in heavily stylized fashion.
The film's visual symbolism can be heavy-handed, but many images are stunningly evocative, and the scene in which the doctor begins his own recovery by performing a tracheotomy on a dying girl is genuinely affecting.
Audience Reviews for Murderers Are Among Us (Die Mörder sind unter uns)
The first film to be produced in (East) Germany after the fall of Berlin and the armistice. An expressionist drama pondering the question of guilt in justice in a society that is trying to find itself within the maelstrom of being the culprit and victim at the same time. Great performance by Knef and quite wooden and overdone ( think Fritz Lang and the Weimar School ) acting on the part of the other actors. Still, the film is shot in the actual ruins of Berlin and that alone is quite a sight to behold (including a christmas mass in a bombed out church).
A historically important film, being that it was the first film produced in Post World War II Germany. A doctor who served with the Nazis during the war, now finds himself after the war overcome by grief and guilt for the horrors he saw during the war. Unable to continue his work as a doctor, due to his disillusionment with the darkness in men's hearts he walks to streets of his bombed out city amongst the rats, and drinks excessively on a daily basis. That is until a woman comes into his life, who helps him out of his depression. At the same time, a commanding officer from his past also comes into his life. Since the war, despite his crimes against humanity, the Captain returns to his his family life, his home left unscathed throughout the war, and his position of manager at a successful factory. This is too much for the doctor who ultimately takes it upon himself to bring justice to the victims of the war. While not perfect in the story telling department (especially in the second half, which I found wrapped everything up a little too nicely) this film still packs a heavy punch. The footage of the city destroyed by war set the perfect backdrop for this film, and the photography throughout was also top notch. The desperation of the films main character reflects the desperation of an entire nation, and that message is still a very powerful thing for modern audiences to experience. Much of the main character's views seem to be parallell to French Existentialist writers like Jean Paul Sartre or Albert Camus, who were experiencing similar confusion and disillusionment following the war. All in all a must see for those interested in European or Film History, but also really just a good movie with an important message and story. Recommended.
Berlin has surrendered, the Reich has fallen, Germany lost once again. Amidst the war torn ravages, the people also cope with psychic rubble. An important film, the first shot in post-war Germany, using the very real setting of a city destroyed, rats included. There are some wonderful shots and montage sequences, yet the plot isn't near as sophisticated as the setting and subject matter. Fortunately, the Soviets were interested in developing a cinematic presence for post-war Germany, as the Western Allies were strongly against film production.
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