Kati and Steffi are best friends since childhood. But as they step into adulthood, both their perfect friendship and their personalities get harshly tested by a series of unfortunate events... See full summary »
Maria von Heland
Anna Maria Mühe,
A group of kids grow up on the short, wrong (east) side of the Sonnenallee in Berlin, right next to one of the few border crossings between East and West reserved for German citizens. The ... See full summary »
In 1938 Hans Zeisig, an apolitical comedian, impersonator and cabaret actor, flees with a Russian passport (instead of American, which he would have preferred) from Nazi-Berlin, and finds ... See full summary »
Young Tim Cornish's life has begun with great promise. Blessed with extraordinary good looks, Tim enjoyed much attention and cared little of broken hearts. At University he was a favored ... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
In October 1989, the part of the West Berlin borough of Kreuzberg called SO 36, had been largely shut off by the Wall from the rest of the city for 28 years. A lethargic sub-culture of ... See full summary »
Ambitious German imperial hussars veteran baron Geert von Instetten takes office as coastal district administrator, hoping to e promoted to the colonies. His childhood love, Luise, married ... See full summary »
Rita Vogt is a radical West German terrorist who abandons the revolution and settles in East Germany with a new identity provided by the East German secret service. She lives in constant ... See full summary »
A successfull novel writer called Dr. Jekyll feels haunted by Hyde, a character from his latest novel who somehow materialized. When Jekyll awakens from a surreal nightmare he realizes that... See full summary »
A Study of the Effects of Changing Political Ideologies on Two Friends
Führer Ex is a challenging, harsh, and intensely involving tale of the course of friendship of two young lads living in the 'prison' of Communist East Germany in 1986. Based on fact (Ingo Hasselbach's book 'Die Abrechnng' adapted for the screen by Douglas Graham and director Winfried Bonengel), this story relates the changes that occur in the close friendship of two boys torn by the confinement of the East German Communists vs the Western freedom of West Germany and the countries not under Communist control. It informs us about that transition with the fall of the Berlin wall and the subsequent adjustment to the new form of life East Germans found beyond the crumbled wall.
Heiko (Christian Blümel) is fair-haired, virginal, nice guy who longs for adventure (and more) with his idolized friend Tommy (Aaron Hildebrand), an edgy guy unafraid to get into a bit of trouble (Tommy is arrested for a minor crime and is released from jail shaved and tattooed). The two dream of escaping their rigid lives and fleeing to Australia. Tommy talks Heiko into running the risk of actual escape and together they break through the wires and walls that confine them but are apprehended in their attempt and sentenced to prison in a cruel Communist prison where they are separated, Tommy joining a 'neo-nazi' group and Heiko falling under the 'protection' of a fellow prisoner who eventually rapes him. The two finally are able to talk and plan a mutual escape, hopefully placing themselves in boxes to be transported to freedom. Tommy succeeds; Heiko doesn't and remains in prison.
Flash forward to 1989 and the Berlin wall is down. Tommy is living a comfortable life in the new Berlin and encounters Heiko in a true Neo-Nazi meeting that Heiko is leading. The tables have turned - Heiko is the miscreant and Tommy is the good guy. Convinced that Tommy is a traitor to the ideals of Heiko's political interests, Heiko surfaces all of the hate that brewed in prison and is focused on unjust governments. An event occurs that alters their friendship and Heiko is forced to see that varying political climes and convictions pale in the value of treasured friends.
The film is well paced and the acting is excellent. There are gaps in the script storyline that result in some confusion for the viewer, but the overall impact of the 'biopic' nature of the movie is powerful and deserves attention. It is particularly fitting that this film comes out of Germany, as though it may be a purging of sorts over the initial division of East vs West Berlin. And forgetting about the political aspects of the story, this is a powerful document on the importance of commitment to long-term friends. Recommended. Grady Harp
10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?