There is much symbolism here, if not too much: the closed institution (1956, West Germany) for children (the future) with a head who is ex-Nazi (parallel to 50's German political life, industry etc.); the East German refugee (new ideas and principles) etc. etc. But this does not prevent the film to be a very moving and sensitive drama, due to director Hark Bohm and to the lead players Uwe Bohm and Barbara Auer, who are both splendid.
The film is well paced and balanced and hence a very rewarding experience, though the ending is not too surprising. There are several remarkable and impressive scenes, and I like especially this one: Elke and Friedrich making love in the head's room while in a room above them the staff celebrates Christmas singing Nazi songs.
The strongest aspect of the film (and in my opinion more important than the political one) is that it shows what one can achieve with simple and silently executed civil courage.
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