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Ich war neunzehn (1968)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 543 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 6 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Title: Ich war neunzehn (1968)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jaecki Schwarz ...
Gregor Hecker
Vasili Livanov ...
Wadim
Aleksey Eybozhenko ...
Sascha
Galina Polskikh ...
Sowjetisches Mädchen
Rolf Hoppe ...
Etappenmajor
Wolfgang Greese ...
Landschaftsgestalter
Dieter Mann ...
Willi Lommer
Jenny Gröllmann ...
Deutsches Mädchen
Kalmursa Rachmanov ...
Dsingis
Anatoli Solovyov ...
Starschinka
Johannes Wieke ...
Festungskommandant
Mikhail Gluzskiy ...
General (as Mikhail Glusski)
Jürgen Hentsch ...
Adjutant
Kurt Böwe ...
Sturmbannführer
Klaus Manchen ...
Blinder Soldat
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Storyline

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 c.winter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

soldier | red army | episodic | bernau | army | See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

1 February 1968 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

I Was Nineteen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was produced with the support of the Soviet Army and of the People's Army of the GDR. See more »

Connections

Featured in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good but not Great
7 October 2009 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

The main problem with Ich war 19 is that glosses over several essential realities. It seems like a Soviet propaganda movie trying to white wash the past. The invasion of Germany by Soviet troops in 1944/5 was nothing short of barbaric. 18 million people were driven from their ancestral lands - over 2 million civilians were brutally murdered. More than a million POW's were liquidated and another 2 million Ukrainians, Poles and White Russians of German descent were also exterminated by the Soviets.

The landscape was almost completely destroyed by allied bombing and soviet artillery. 80% of the buildings were destroyed. Women (and boys) were frequently raped on the spot. The boys were lucky - they were invariably bayoneted after-wards - but the women were passed to next comrade. Of course we can argue that this was justified because of the Holocaust and the German barbarism in Russia and Poland. But women and children?

The film does not even suggest this was happening. It represents the war as a sort of part time activity in which a few unlucky people got killed. The buildings are all intact. The people all look well fed. The faces look completely undramatized. It doesn't bring home the reality of truth.

1945 was truly horrific for everyone between Berlin and Konigsberg (Kaliningrad)It is an indelible scar on the memory of everyone old enough to remember it. This film does not convey that horror.


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