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Spring of Life (2000)

Pramen zivota (original title)
The film, 'The Spring Of Life', brings to light a little-known operation of the Nazi SS, started just before the outbreak of World War II. Through the careful selection and re-education of ... See full summary »

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Monika Hilmerová ...
Grétka
Michal Sieczkowski ...
Leo
Johana Tesarová ...
Klára (as Johanna Tesarová)
Vilma Cibulková ...
Waage
Karel Dobrý ...
Odillo
Bronislav Poloczek ...
Kasuba
Josef Somr ...
Teacher
Bozidara Turzonovová ...
Mother
Alois Svehlík ...
Father
Vítezslav Jandák ...
Lottes
Lubomír Kostelka
Zdenka Sajfertová
Elin Spidlová ...
Rosa
Katerina Hajna ...
Janka
Kristyna Lutanska ...
Inge
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Storyline

The film, 'The Spring Of Life', brings to light a little-known operation of the Nazi SS, started just before the outbreak of World War II. Through the careful selection and re-education of young women, it was the Nazi's mad dream to create an Aryan 'master race'. Written by John Howard

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Drama | History | Romance | War

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3 February 2000 (Czech Republic)  »

Also Known As:

Pramen zivota: Der Lebensborn  »

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User Reviews

 
Gripping (and sexy) Czech exposé of systematic German madness in occupied Czechoslovakia
11 August 2015 | by (United States, Europe) – See all my reviews

Viewed at the Berlin Film Festival, 2000.

The film, 'The Spring Of Life', brings to light a little-known operation of the Nazi SS, started just before the outbreak of World War II. Carefully selecting young Czech and Norwegian women for their supposedly "blond Aryan" good looks, kidnapping them and brainwashing them with Nazi ideology at secret impregnation centers out in the country called "Lebensborn" homes, then having them mate arbitrarily with the best looking young Gernan soldiers on leave from the front, it was the Nazi's mad dream to create an Aryan 'master race'.

Original Czech title, "Pramen života", German title "Das Lebensborn", directed by Czech helmer Milan Cieslar (39), this is the story of a Czech girl who, because of her 'Aryan' good looks is selected to breed Aryan children as cannon fodder for the Third Reich in a "Lebensborn" home. She comes under the protection of the lesbian head mistress of the home and is thus spared the indignity of becoming a reproductive mare for Hitler's minions. However, she falls in love with a Jewish boy hiding out on the estate grounds which was confiscated ex- Jewish property, and becomes pregnant by him which leads to tragic complications.

Children born of these mechanical wartime matings still constitute a little known social problem in today's democratic Germany, and this film sheds new light upon one more troublesome skeleton in the collective German closet. Cieslar's excellent film is, however, much more a poignant drama than a finger-pointing exercise in accusation. Slovak actress Monika Hilmenova, 25, is striking as the tragic young heroine and veteran Czech actress Vilma Cybulkova is a most convincing, barely restrained, lesbian headmistress of the German sexploitation pit. NOTE: The "spring" of the title here does not refer to the season but rather to the source of ground water, symbolically a source of new life.


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