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The Nasty Girl (1990)
"Das schreckliche Mädchen" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama | History  -  March 1991 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,758 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 15 critic

When a young woman investigates her town's Nazi past, the community turns against her.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lena Stolze ...
Sonja
Hans-Reinhard Müller ...
Juckenack
Monika Baumgartner ...
Sonja's mother
Elisabeth Bertram ...
Sonja's grandma
Michael Gahr ...
Paul Rosenberger
Robert Giggenbach ...
Martin
Fred Stillkrauth ...
Sonja's uncle
Barbara Gallauner ...
Miss Juckenack
Udo Thomer ...
Archivist Schulz
Ludwig Wühr ...
Owner of the Swingboat
Christof Wackernagel ...
Zöpfel
Richard Süßmeier ...
The Mayor
Sandra White ...
Iris
Rudolf Klaffenböck ...
The judge
Karin Thaler ...
Nina
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Storyline

Sonya is a German high school student who decides to write an essay about her town's history during the Third Reich and its resistance to it. To her dismay, and more so the town's, she uncovers instead definite collaboration during the period. As she digs deeper, she must struggle against the town's vocal and violent opposition to her search for the truth. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Nasty Girl  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,281,569 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Germany's official submission to the 1991's Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category. See more »

Quotes

Local Doctor: If I'd known you'd be famous, I'd have preserved your appendix in alcohol.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Verhoeven's Stage
10 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

Using Brecht's idea of Epic Theatre, Michael Verhoeven creates a stage upon which audiences can learn from the past, and critique such instances from World War Two and Nazi Germany through the main character Sonja's struggles.

Brecht wanted Epic Theatre to use history and let audiences apply it to the present. This type of theatre makes you aware that you are watching something staged, so that you analyze the situation rather then feeling the same emotions of the characters. Verhoeven does this very nicely using a few alienation effects (also know as vefremdungs effekt). One scene taking the walls down of Sonja's living room and having it float through town while people anonymously call and threaten her family. Here the idea of Foucault's panoptican (an instrument that can see everything) comes into play as well. Sonya has no anonymity from the public, which is made up of the church, the government, the media, and the fifth establishment (the elder generation that serve as a link from the past to the present), yet she cannot identify any of them specifically. Later on again in a different sequence, Verhoeven brings back the walls. It is here that Sonja learns some names she can use to defend herself, and the walls of defense are back. Bringing back the walls also helps alarm the audience, just in case they were becoming too comfortable without them.

Another part of the film is Sonja's family. In many scenes the children are seen crying and the father, Martin, tending to them and getting rather flustered. At one point he yells at Sonja telling her how her children would like their mother. Later on at the end of the film we learn that he has left her. Verhoeven plays on Sonja's obsession for finding the truth as a distraction from her family, yet there are parts where she still says she needs to stop, for the safety of her family because of threats. I think the scenes of neglecting the family are overdone to not show the point that Sonja is a bad mother, but that she wants her children to grow up and learn to love their Heimat (homeland), which during WWII was given a negative political term. She wants to make things better for her children so they don't grow up learning all of the corrupt things the her town has been covering up.

The Nasty Girl is a clever and great cinematic film that makes you think, rather then feel. As the viewer you walk away learning something.


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