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
Immediately after WWII, Italy and Japan developed strong national cinemas. The same thing didn't happen in Germany. I really didn't know they made any films in the aftermath, but apparently they did. The Murderers Are Among us was made just the year after Germany lost the war. It's quite a strong film, feeling a lot like the film noir style that was all the rage in America at the time (which, in turn, was heavily influenced by German silent cinema). Ernst Wilhelm Borchert plays an alcoholic doctor who is haunted by his participation in the war. He hooks up with his new roommate (Hildegard Knef), which helps him a little, but then he runs into his former commanding officer (Arno Paulsen), which sends him into an angry, murderous downward spiral. The film is actually thinly veiled propaganda, expressing that not all Germans (be they soldiers or civilians) were okay with wiping out entire Polish villages or, you know, the Jews. Eh, maybe I can accept that, but, taking the film as some kind of apology, it all feels a tad too little too late. I do, however, like the appeal for peace and justice, as opposed to revenge. The last thing the world needed at the time was more violence. The filmmaking is very beautiful. Sometimes it feels like a dry run for The Third Man. I don't know if Carol Reed saw this film, but one filmmaker who most certainly did was Lars von Trier. His film Europa cribs from this one pretty liberally at times, most notably the image of a snowfall in a bombed-out church.
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