April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army's scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted ...
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As rumors reach them that the Allied armies are advancing on their concentration camp at Buchenwald, Polish prisoners renew their feeble hope for survival and freedom. When a group of ... See full summary »
Professor Hans Mamlock is the distinguished chief of surgery in a university hospital. The year is 1933, and although the Professor is Jewish, he remains unconcerned with politics and the ... See full summary »
As a painter in the court of King Carlos IV, Goya - played by the great Lithuanian actor Donatas Banionis (The Red Tent, Solaris) - has attained wealth and reputation. He believes in King ... See full summary »
A Jewish ghetto in the east of Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central ... See full summary »
Summer, 1943: wealthy youth in the Riccione district of Rimini play while the war gets closer. Carlo Caremoli, a young man who follows the crowd, has found ways to avoid military service. ... See full summary »
A group of kids grow up on the short, wrong (east) side of the Sonnenallee in Berlin, right next to one of the few border crossings between East and West reserved for German citizens. The ... See full summary »
Sunny is the singer of band trying to establish itself in the music-scene of East-Berlin. They play regular gigs in small towns, but Sunny feels out of touch with the audience and her life ... See full summary »
April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army's scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted with the dilemma of having to fight men from the very country he was born in. Through dealing with challenging situations (e.g. he is appointed commander of Bernau, talks to many disillusioned Germans, and is once and again attacked by scattered groups of German soldiers), he grows more confident that not all hope is lost for post-war Germany. Based on the diary entries of director Konrad Wolf, the episodic movie authentically portrays the protagonist's struggle to come to terms with his own past and identity. Written by
The film reaches a grim climax by featuring a short clip from the DEFA-documentary "Todeslager Sachsenhausen" ("Deathcamp Sachsenhausen") (1946), detailing the technical proceedings in a death-chamber. See more »
Director Wolf has a small masterpiece in this film, which is about the exploration of a young German-born Russian soldier's attempt to find his roots during the final days of World War II as the Russian Army advances on Berlin. This is also an unsweetened account of the chaos of war. Many suspenseful moments and never boring. Gregor, the nineteen-year-old of the title reveals himself throughout as the confused, self-conscious, prideful and sometimes ruthless young man that he is, not unlike any young man of 19 caught up in wartime situations. Highly recommended. Another look but an unusual one at the war that marked the 20th Century.
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