Two men, a painter and a poor guy, have to cross over Paris by night during World War II and to deliver black market meat. As they walk along dark Parisian streets, they encounter various ... See full summary »
An allegorical comedy centered on two childhood sweethearts who seem destined for one another until the women of their isolated village, angered by male indifference toward the water ... See full summary »
Claude is a Jew. Because of the risks of an arrest (France is occupied by the Nazis), his parents send him away to an elderly couple in the country. Pepe, the husband, is a Petain supporter... See full summary »
The movie explains Germany from 1913 until 1955 by example of two contrary characters: The idealistic journalist Hans (H.-J. Felmy) loses his work during the Third Reich, whereas ... See full summary »
Johanna von Koczian,
Marius has left, signed up for a five year hitch on a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. In his few letters to his father César, he hardly mentions Fanny. When she finds she is pregnant, she ... See full summary »
In the summer of 1914, thirteen-year-old Oda von Siering (Paula Beer) leaves Berlin to join her family and an assortment of German and Russian aristocrats on an estate in Estonia. The von ... See full summary »
Honoré Panisse is dying, cheerfully, with friends, wife, and son at his side. He confesses to the priest in front of his friends; he insists that the doctor be truthful. But, he cannot ... See full summary »
César runs a bar along Marseilles' port, assisted by his 23 year old son, Marius. Colorful characters abound: M. Panisse, an aging widower and prosperous sail maker; Honorine, a fishmonger ... See full summary »
Upon seeing the Promo Poster for the first time, I was vilely repulsed. My God! It looks like a recruitment poster for an SS Death Squad! Whose idea of a sick joke was this, anyway? But the image kept ricocheting around in my brain non-stop. Hmmm...1951, after the war. It's got to be ANTI-Nazi, for sure, I thought.
Many of us spend time searching for "hidden gems". "The Axe of Wandsbek" is, unequivocally, my best find to date, bar none! It is a truly misunderstood masterpiece, of great cinematic, social and historic import.
Director Falk Harnak was a member of the German resistance during the war, as was his brother and most of his extended family. Harnak's brother and most of his relatives were German Gentiles who died in Nazi death camps. Harnak himself narrowly escaped death at Dachau. After the war, the ("We Love Freedom") Americans REFUSED to grant him permission to make this film. He was forced to ask the Russians, in control of East Germany, and they gave him the green light.
AXE played to packed houses in the East until the Russians, after only 3 weeks, pulled the plug on its continued presentation and kept it out of East German release for over 30 years! (They had their own agenda, of course, and claimed AXE painted an unrealistically sympathetic portrait of the Nazis!) Harnak's film speaks a truth that has been yearning to be told for decades! "For ye shall know the TRUTH...and the TRUTH shall set you FREE!"
Before viewing, it is indispensable that you watch University of Massachusetts Historian Dr. Allen's Special Features explanation of the great social and historical significance of AXE. At 30 minutes it's a bit long, but worth it! Dr. Allen adds that in 1951 Germans seemed anathema to any forum in search of collective catharsis. All background info mentioned here comes from her interview. BTW, AXE is exquisitely made! 10*, but recommended primarily for History, Sociolgy, Poly-Sci or classic foreign cinema enthusiasts!....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!
Any comments, questions or observations, in English or Español, are most welcome!
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