Thursday, 19 April 2007

Deutsches Kino

Films I would recommend:

Das Boot Intense, claustraphobic war film. Ending that makes you throw up your arms and shout FFS NO!

Der Untergang (Downfall) Mostly Traudl Junge (Hitler's secretary) and other's recreation of the last day's in Adolph's Berlin bunker. Excellent and daring performance by Bruno Ganz as Hitler.

Goodbye Lenin Nice slice of Ostalgia and touching performance by Daniel Brühl and Katrin Saß as his mother who he tries to reassure that East Germany still exists.

Die Fetten Jahre sind vorbei (released here as The Edukators) also with Daniel Brühl as a trio of anarchists who inadvertedly kidnap a businessman who it turns out used to be a radical 68er himself. Much introspection and political discussion that goes nowhere but otherwise is a thoughtful and uplifting film. (great ending!)

Das weiße Rauschen Oh yes, with Daniel Brühl again. Is a pattern emerging? If you ever want to get an understanding of what schizophrenia is really like then this as as good an insight as anything I've seen (I imagine).

Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) Fast moving thriller which questions the consequences of causality.

Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) Psychological nightmare during the inter-war years and the build-up to Nazism. Actually, no, not recommended for the easily disturbed as I still wake up having nightmares about this one.

Sophie Scholl Focuses on a leading woman from the anti-Nazi White Rose movement. I wanted to see this after reading about the movement on the display boards at Dachau and wasn't dissapointed.

Der Himmel über Berlin Directed by Wim Wenders in black and white and colour this is the most beautiful cinematography ever. Not the fastest or most engaging of plots though!

Europa, Europa A young Jewish lad flees from Poland and first finds himself educated at a Soviet Youth boot-camp, then at a Hitler Youth academy where he tries to conceal his Jewishness (his attempts at disguising his circumscision are excrutiating). Apparently a true story but hard to believe at times.

Herr Lehmann A gentle comedy, mostly good for its character definition than rib-breaking laughter or dynamic tension, chronicalling life in Kreuzberg at the downfall of the Wall. Memorable for the opening scene where Herr Lehman gets a dog drunk. No, really, must be seen!

Das Experiment Recreates a real-life experiment of dividing volunteers into prisoners and warders. Violent and disturbing.

Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht directed by Werner Herzog and with Klaus Kinski as Dracula. The best cinematography of any film about Dracula, EVER.

Stalingrad I've only ever managed to get this with terribly terribly dubbed English. Good gruesome goresome (anti-)war movie in the spirit of Full Metal Jacket. I imagine it is very true to life about the Nazi siege of Stalingrad and the lives of the soldiers caught up in it.

Amundsen der Pinguin A kids film without English subtitles, but I'm including it because it has Till Lindemann (lead singer from Rammstein) in it as a villain.

Was Tun, Wenn's Brennt? (What to Do In Case of Fire). A bomb planted by a group of youthful anarchist squatters in the 80's eventually goes off in the year 2000 when they have (mostly) left their dissident past behind and (mostly) got respectible jobs. The bomb blast is investigated by the Polezei and the group collaborate in removing film evidence of their bomb-making plot. Very enjoyable, a kind of Edukators-lite, but has a different slant after recent real-life terrorist bombings.

Oh, and if you can ever get to see the Heimat series (it was shown in its entirety on TV here (the UK) last year) then that's a most worthwhile experience. Nothing much actually happens to be honest, but it's breadth of time period and the interaction of characters is fascinating.


  1. Thanks for posting these. It's just the information I needed. (I'm a German teacher wanting to find out more about what the most enjoyable German films are).

  2. Have you ever seen Der Krieger und die Kaiserin? Young nurse Sissi lives a secluded life, seemingly entirely devoted to her patients at Birkenhof asylum. Her first encounter with ex-soldier and drifter Bodo has a lasting impact. He causes an accident that results in her lying under a truck, unable to breathe. While he provides life-saving first aid, mesmerized Sissi begins to wonder whether he may be the man of her dreams. I'm a huge fan of Benno Fürmann so I probably enjoyed this more than most! LOL


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