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Harry Dean Stanton
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Cologne-Ehrenfeld, November 1944. They're young, wild and rebellious, like young people anywhere and in any time. But working-class boys Karl and his younger brother Peter are Edelweiss Pirates. They oppose the Nazis, and are pursued by the Gestapo. With the escaped concentration camp prisoner Hans Steinbrück they plan acts of sabotage, until the Gestapo take them on with their full might. When they're arrested, Karl is torn between his will to survive, his feelings of responsibility, his love for his brother and his loyalty to the Edelweiss Pirates. Written by
While the title makes it sound like a combination of The Sound of Music and a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, this is actually a serious film about the real-life Edelweiss Piraten, a loosely organized gang of German anti-Hitler youth who harassed the Nazis and hid Jews and others who were in trouble.
It's the last days of World War II, bombing raids are nearly a daily threat, but the Nazis are still very much in charge. The youths use the bombing raids as cover for their guerrilla activities, and not all of them survive. Both they and the people they are protecting are constantly in danger, especially when, like the main character, they have gung ho Nazi sympathizers in the family.
The characters are half-starved and living in rubble, but they still manage to keep their integrity and fighting spirit, all the more remarkable, since they would have spent most of their lives under Hitler.
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