The mechanic Behnke wants to join the Nazi party to secure a good living. However, after his Jewish neighbors have been taken away, he changes his views. Trying to remain "a non-political ... See full summary »
Karl Heinz Deickert
Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »
Diederich Heßling is scared of everything and everyone. But as he grows up, he comes to realize that he has to offer his services to the powers-that-be if he wants to wield power himself. ... See full summary »
A biographical portrayal of Simon Wiesenthal, famous Nazi Hunter. From his imprisonment in a Nazi Concentration Camp, the film follows his liberation and his rise to become one of the ... See full summary »
Craig T. Nelson
Susanne Wallner returns to the ruins of Berlin from a Concentration Camp after WW2 to discover that someone else lives in her apartment: Dr. Hans Mertens, the war made him depressive and he drinks a lot of alcohol. Susanne asks him to go but he doesn't want to, so they share Susanne's apartment and even discover their sympathy and then their love for each other. That encourages him a little, of course. But then he hears that Ferdinand Brückner is still alive and also lives in Berlin. Brückner was his Captain during WW2, he gave the order to kill more than 100 innocent people, many children and women among them, on Christmas 1942 in Poland. Written by
Fine German Expressionist / Noir cinematography in the ruins of Berlin
Murderers Among Us is the first film made, of a vast trove of films, in the Soviet controlled sector of post-war Germany that was to become East Germany. It is deeply and masterfully immersed in the aesthetic traditions of German Expressionism and /or Film Noir: unusual angles and picture planes, extreme lighting effects, twisted stairs, bombed-out buildings that look like jagged fingers against the sky (it was shot in the ruins of Berlin), a haunted, tormented protagonist, stark black and white atmosphere, and, above all, shadows. Shadows and more shadows of every size, shape, and density. In fact this film could serve as a text book on shadow craft: the scene where a man is screaming from within the vast shadow of a pistol wielding attacker is magnificent. I haven't seen The Third Man recently but I am sure Murderers influenced it profoundly. I would recommend the Third Man as a good double feature with this film.
Murders belongs to a genre called 'rubble films', shot in the rubble of Germany and frequently dealing with issues of German guilt after WW II. Murderers does not seek to deal overmuch with the people who gave the orders, but with the many Germans who followed them with little or no protest. Such as the wounded doctor in this film who stood by while even children were executed as reprisals against resistance fighters in occupied Poland. Plotwise the film works quite nicely, and I liked the atmosphere of renewal, and perhaps relief at the end of a nightmare, amongst all that ruin and rubble as the German people began to pick themselves up.
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