Germany, WWII: 10-year old Dagmar has just lost her beloved twin brother Doug and her family through a bomb attack. Together with a young girl who worked in the bakery of Dagmar's parents ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Constanze Engelbrecht ...
Dagmar
...
Young Dagmar
Hans Kremer ...
Laurent
Jens Harzer ...
Young Laurent
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Petra Berndt ...
Leni Steiner
Luise Deschauer ...
Mrs. Steiner
Heinz Ehrenfreund ...
Benedikt Rappenreiter
Heike Falkenberg ...
Else Pilkahn
Wega Jahnke ...
Frau Rappenreiter
Jörg Panknin ...
August Pachulke
Hanns Zischler ...
Serge
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Storyline

Germany, WWII: 10-year old Dagmar has just lost her beloved twin brother Doug and her family through a bomb attack. Together with a young girl who worked in the bakery of Dagmar's parents they escape to Bavaria and find shelter at some far relatives of Dagmar's family. The little girl just doesn't feel comfortable in the strange family but soon finds a good friend: Laurent, a 17-year old French alien employee. Laurent is tormented by August, the "head of the family", but cannot defend himself because as soon as he causes a conflict he will be sent into an approved school in France which is even worse. Dagmar and Laurent become very close and become almost like brother and sister, they are all they have and Dagmar even falls a bit in love with Laurent. One day August sees how Laurent hugs Dagmar, he provokes a conflict and at the end Laurent is sent back to France. Dagmar is desperate: She thinks that she'll never sees Laurent again. 10 years later: Dagmar has stayed in the Bavarian ... Written by Smoothhoney

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10 April 1996 (Germany)  »

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Constanze Engelbrecht, who plays the adult Dagmar is the mother of Julie Engelbrecht, who plays the young Dagmar. See more »

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A truly emotional and epic tale
28 April 2005 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

During the history of cinema a couple of films were produced that told the story of a love, family throughout twenty or thirty years and were historical at the same time. I'm talking about movies like "The House of the Spirits" or "Like water for chocolate". They are movies of high quality, brilliantly photographed, capturing and deeply moving, touching existential topics and questions in life.

"Adieu, mon ami" is such a movie, too although I suppose that only a small audience is familiar with it for it was only produced for and shown on German television. Although it's mainly a story about a girl who grows and becomes a mature and independent woman it's also a story of love, a family and it shows life during WWII and twenty years after. And would you believe it or not – it also takes place in two different countries! I have told the plot here on IMDb already, so I won't repeat it here. What I liked most about it is how careful it deals with sensitive topics, such as first (and unusual) love, the fate of a child who loses her family through war and finds a new one, homosexuality and history. The story is very interesting, has many surprises and touches your heart.

The best thing about this movie are its protagonists and actually three of them breath life into this film. Two of them are Constanze Engelbrecht and her daughter Julie who gives her film debut here. Julie plays Dagmar as a child and Constanze is the adult Dagmar. Of course you can see that Julie is not an experienced actress but with her charm and freshness she wins your heart and the little mistakes she makes let her performance appear only more realistic. She touches your heart like only few young actresses did before her. Constanze Engelbrecht is just a great actress, she is elegant, she is beautiful, she has dignity, and she can be fragile and strong at the same time. She is one of those timeless German actresses like Lilli Palmer and Romy Schneider – a woman with a touch of class but very emotional at the same time which is just a pleasure to watch. The third person who maybe is the spirit of this film impressed me most – it's Jens Harzer who plays young Laurent. Jens Harzer today is a famous theatre actor who successfully captured the stages of Munich. His incredible talent was already obvious in this movie which was one of his first movies, I guess. In his way of acting he is very much comparable with Nicolas Cage – an actor, who transports emotions through his whole body language, beginning with his eyes and finishing with his gestures. Laurent in this movie is a young French boy, who was violently taken away from his home to work in a country whose language he doesn't know and where people in addition hate the French and fight against them. You can almost feel his suffering in his every move – he talks slowly and heavily, he moves slowly and as if every move causes incredible pain to him. On the other hand he can be happy whenever he remembers songs from his home country and speaks his mother language. And although this boy is suffering so much, he is the only one who can awake Dagmar from her apathy and bring a smile to her face. When he is with her, you can see through his suffering that he is just a boy, who can be happy, too, who can have fun and laugh and just fool around. He can feel joy and sorrow like no other character in this movie. Jens Harzer brings this with an exceptional talent onto the screen and you just can't help concentrating on him every time he appears.

All in one I would like to say that this film is a truly great epic story and touches you deep within. It's one of those films that you fall in love with and never forget.


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