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|Index||28 reviews in total|
What a change from the usual rather run-of-the-mill dramas I'm used to
I wasn't expecting too much, but was hooked from the first minute. I was really pleased to see a good healthy mixture of well-known actors, however I did get the feeling that sometimes the concept and trauma of the whole idea was too overwhelming for even them to actually carry it off believably. I got the feeling that it was mentally exhausting for all involved.
That's the only negative point, but I understand that this subject is such a sensitive one, one that reflected everybody's personal feelings. If no-one feels sensitive about an issue such as this, then we are all in trouble in the future.
I felt that John Light definitely did it for me with his (apparent) stoicism, when all the time the shock and horror of what is actually happening , almost in a surreal way, unfolds beyond his (characters') eyes and becomes more and more embedded in the soul. The idea of being a victim when the "good guys" are actually bombing the hell out of the place you're stuck in, puts a very different subjective aspect on the story. The poignancy reflected in the story on both sides had me very moved for a long time. Of course there are many aspects and issues that were maybe left with the surface barely scratched, but many issues were definitely broached, and that's what counts. How do you condense a culmination of 6 years of war into one "short" TV-event? Answer, it's nigh-on impossible, but the effort was made very bravely, well-done.
A great deal of thought-provoking moments and a no-win situation were another top point, where I feel these sorts of films, be it romance, drama, documentary or otherwise should never cease. We unfortunately need the horrific visions, (and the brain can conjure up plenty of horrific scenes without actually having to have everything laid out on a plate, the essence is important, the rest can and often has to be left to the imagination, one of our most powerful resources) to remind ourselves of how terrible things can become, because human beings are very forgetful of just what has happened in the past and never should happen again.
I was very glad to have watched this drama and will definitely be recommending it further.
It was hard watching the film because it contained so much pain and
fear that you could actually "feel" it. The filmmakers did a really
good job by showing the "reality" of the war because "Dresden" is damn
realistic. Maybe sometimes a bit too much and you often ask yourself if
it was definitely necessary to show all these cruel details.
But the film also does not just consist of the usual love story between two people who are actually not allowed to love each other but rather tries to show through that love both sides of the attack - the German and the British side. And that fact makes the film kinda special because it really works.
This film, as you can guess from the title, is about the destruction of
Dresden by the RAF (Royal Aircraft), but in reality this is only the
background for the love story lived by a British pilot fighter whose
plane was shot down and a German nurse in Dresden. Well, a dramatic
story all down the line! When I went to the video store I found on the
shelf a DVD called "Dresden - O Inferno" (the title in Portuguese) and
my curiosity was raised when I discovered that it was a German film. I
had no information at all about the director, actors etc, but I took my
chances and rented the film. When I arrived home I discovered through
IMDb that this was a television film. After this bit of information I
was not expecting much of the film in spite of some good reviews. Well,
I think that for those that don't care too much about logic, it's worth
What makes this film interesting is that you'll see the bombing of Dresden from the German point of view. As it is a television film "Dresden" was made for the big audience and not for intellectuals. How would the Germans describe the bombing of Dresden? How would they portray the allies? The film tries to be objective - it shows the gruesome details of the destruction of Dresden and shows as well the nazi terror dominant in Hitler's last days. It has a cast of British and German actors and doesn't try to demonize either side. It's much more concerned with the love story lived by the British pilot with the German nurse than with historical details and it's an appeal for peace and understanding. The plot is as full of holes as a swiss cheese, sometimes bordering on the incredible. But if you employ some suspension of disbelief "Dresden" will move you. There's good acting, good cinematography and the sweet Felicitas Woll.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As an English man living in Germany, it was interesting to see a German made production on the historical events surrounding the bombing of Dresden. One needs to understand, this is not a documentary, it is for the masses, so one should treat it as such. As an Englishman in Germany, I always hear one side, the Brits were war criminals, it, the bombing should never have been allowed. I mention this to my British relatives and friends and they have completely the opposite view. To give credit, the film provides both sides of the argument. It shows Bomber Harris giving his opinions as well as the reservations of some of his subordinates. It shows the horror of the bombings on the civilians. It shows the persecution of many persons including Jews and the extreme depravity of the Nazi regime. Combined with a rather hard to believe love story (Robert appearing at Anna's engagement party, dressed as a Nazi), it was fun entertainment backed by some significant history. Remember, as a love story with some history, it reached a much larger target audience than a pure documentary would have done. And it was entertaining and a tear jerker, at least for my wife. So lay off, it's good decent entertainment, whilst bringing over some of the historical background.
Following a friend's advice, I just finished watching "Dresden".
"Dresden" deals with two major themes: one dealing with the war itself, showing the German civilians living day to day in fear of severe retaliation on behalf of the British RAF. It also shows how the British pilots, who risk their lives to bomb the enemy, and how ruthless the Nazi's were.
The other theme is a fragment of the previous theme, showing a love-story between a stranded British pilot and a German civilian nurse working in a local hospital during the war.
Hence of course why this film is called "Dresden"; not because of the city but because of anyone and anything taking place in the city of Dresden.
Also worth to mention is that "Dresden" is unlike other Hollywood movies dealing World War 2. It's not meant to only entertain the viewer but to educate as well. This is partially done by some intense dramatic moments and painful, shocking detailed images.
About the rest of the movie; I was surprised by the good acting performances done by a relative unknown cast. At least I don't know any of them. It also was quite obvious that a large budget was available, looking at the good quality of production when keeping in mind that "Dresden" is 'only' a TV-movie.
Conclusion: if you want to learn something more about World War 2 while 'witnessing' it from another point of view and at the same time enjoying an intriguing story about two 'enemies' falling in love, then "Dresden" is something for you.
If you want American patriotism, a single sided view on World War 2 and lots of entertainment, then I'm sure that there are plenty of Hollywood-films out there.
My score, keeping in mind it's 'only' a TV-film: 8 out of 10.
I was hoping this would be of the calibre of Das Boot and echo the stark realism created by acclaimed German Director Leni RiefenStahl in her documentaries, sadly I was monumentally disappointed. The story line is implausible and defies credulity. An RAF airman is shot down and somehow finds his way to a hospital in Dresden. Anna a nurse whose father runs the hospital and is about to become engaged to a doctor she works with falls in love with the airman and they make love. The next evening at a lavish engagement party the airman turns up disguised as a German officer and dances with Anna. Although well directed and acted, to me it is soap opera of the lowest order.
I have no idea how historically accurate this movie is, but it gives a good idea of what the bombing of Dresden was like. Yes, there's all sorts of drama and even romance woven into the plot. To me that's expected, otherwise it would be a documentary and maybe even boring. It's really well done for a TV film. The acting is good. The storyline is believable. The effects are very realistic. I don't think this movie was made so that Germans can feel sorry for their suffering under Hitler. Instead, I think it's an acknowledgement of the suffering and it gives the current and future generations a view of the horror of the past. I wish there were stuff of this caliber made for American TV. I hope this gets released with English subtitles so that English speaking audiences get to see it.
A fictional love drama set on the background of Dresden at the end of
World War II achieves to illuminate the complexity of human characters
under the life-threatening terror of the Nazi-regime and the war.
The excellent cast with Felicitas Woll, John Light and Benjamin Sadler as main figures involve the viewer into a very personal drama. As the screenplay avoids black-and-white-painting, multi-layered characters invite the viewer to a differentiating point of view.
Realistic fire-scenes, carefully computer-animated flying-sequences and the participation of both British and German historians in pre-production contribute to a gripping movie about a sensitive point in German history.
Just like Kleiner_Fuchs after watching this movie and other recent
Teamworxx productions like "Sturmflut" I thought that, had Cameron not
made "Titanic", these people would probably not rely so heavily on the
ever repeated formula of a fictional doomed love with a hazardous
historical background (though this is by no means a new concept).
Contrary to my predecessor I think that in "Titanic" this worked out
fine. But this may be mainly because a ship is a so much smaller
microcosm than a city and the actual historical figures,though playing
minor parts in the story pop up every few minutes.
It might have worked in "Dresden" as well, had not been the focus so strictly on the English pilot and the Mauth family (plus a few scenes with Annas co-worker and her Jewish partner). From what I have read and seen on TV and listened to I have learned that there are so many interesting and heartbreaking actual stories. I think the makers of the movie should have worked more of them in for it was obvious in the movie that the parts that were the most shocking were the ones that were based on real events - just sad, that they were so few of them.
Also, since the movie was so very focused on a love story that obviously not many people cared about, the structure of this mini-series was somehow awkward. Why make a two-parter about the bombing of Dresden if the bombers don't actually leave the ground until the last scene of part one and only reach the city halfway into part two? Had this been cut down by an hour and shown as one 2-hour TV-movie I believe it might have had a greater impact.
Still I give this movie 6 stars, because the final 45 minutes actually do work. Of course, the focus is mainly an Anna and the two men running around in the city with her but there are many touching and horrifying scenes in which we as viewers get a little insight into how terrible and traumatizing it must have been to be at this place in this night. Sure, the actual events were still much worse and to tell survivors after viewing this one understands what it was like in Dresden is insulting, but it is mostly in small scenes like the one where a group of people asks a young soldier to shoot them because nobody will survive this anyhow, that I felt a big lump in my throat and got a better understanding of the horror than in the (arguably well done for a TV production) scenes of the inferno.
Tha final scene in which the rebuilt Frauenkirche is re-inaugurated worked for me. I think I understood a lot better now, after watching this movie, how important the building was for the people of Dresden, and why for many of the survivors it was a symbol of their wounds slowly healing and coming to terms with these traumatizing events.
But as a whole, this movie is not about "Dresden", thus it should not have this title. It is just about a bunch of uninteresting poorly written, cliché-based cardboard characters that are, though being mostly played by very competent actors, so completely unappealing, that they ruin the movie.
This is an excellent miniseries that does a wonderful job at portraying the ambivalence of war. Because we follow characters in both England and Germany, we see that neither side is completely to blame for the horrors of WWII, however, neither is completely innocent either. Apart from that, this movie should not be seen as a documentary of the bombing of Dresden. Although the movie is titled "Dresden," it follows characters more than history, though one does learn a little of that as well. Highly recommended for warm characters and a touching drama. This is the kind of movie that you can't stop thinking about days after you've seen it.
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