Eine Frau in Berlin

Eine Frau in Berlin

A woman in Berlin

DVD - 2009 | German
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Women become the victims of the Red Army invasion in Berlin in 1945. One of them, Anonyma, an educated woman, decides to look for an officer who can protect her. A complex symbiotic relationship develops between her and Russian officer Andrej that will force them to remain enemies until the bitter end.

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Nursebob
Dec 13, 2014

When Soviet troops occupy a devastated Berlin towards the end of WWII they take out their anger with drunken binges, vandalism, and rape. Subjected thus to daily doses of intimidation and sexual assault, the women of one particular neighbourhood try to survive as best they can; while a few slip into madness the rest adopt a fatalistic determination to survive no matter what the cost, even if it means establishing an uneasy camaraderie with their rapists. Based upon the anonymous memoirs of one such woman, a former journalist who went so far as to take a Russian major as her lover, Max Färberböck’s controversial drama of desperation and survival adds a uniquely feminine perspective to the many atrocities of war. Feigned friendship and impromptu dinner parties aimed at lessening the brutality barely manage to conceal an underlying anger as one by one each woman is led, willingly or by force, into alleyways, bedrooms, and basements to be subjected to vodka-fueled humiliations or sloppy displays of drunken affection. Only the nameless journalist and her Soviet lover appear to see what is happening, and their sense of despair (and internalized rage) over these particular spoils of war become almost palpable. But as the demoralized citizen’s of Berlin slowly come to realize that their Führer’s grand dreams of Empire have been destroyed, the plight of the women comes to symbolize something far more insidious, the dull resignation of the conquered; “We are no longer a people...” states one of the film’s many powerless male characters, “...we’ve become a population.” Despite some choppy editing and a need to trim it’s 131-minute running time, this is still a well made and powerfully acted historical drama.

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