1974. The world is divided into two rigid power blocs. A highly guarded and deadly armed border cuts across Germany. ALEXANDER KAROW, 19, son of a chemistry professor, chooses to serve in ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacob Matschenz ...
Alexander Karow
...
Christine
...
Gefreiter Kerner
...
Gefreiter Gappa
Jürgen Heinrich ...
Politoffizier Hauptmann Dobbs
...
Frau Dobbs
...
Professor Karow
Dirk Borchardt ...
Hauptfeldwebel Kramm
Jutta Hoffmann ...
Grossmutter
...
Knut
Philip Hagmann ...
Marilyn
...
Aaron Hildebrand ...
Fisch
Michael Wiesner ...
Winnie
Thomas Drechsel ...
Wanne
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Storyline

1974. The world is divided into two rigid power blocs. A highly guarded and deadly armed border cuts across Germany. ALEXANDER KAROW, 19, son of a chemistry professor, chooses to serve in the border patrols of the GDR. It is an escape from his protective father who wants to arrange an effortless and less dangerous post for his son. He expects Alexander to follow his footsteps, study chemistry and fight for the utopia of a just socialism. The reality could hardly be more disillusioning. The border troops are dominated by brutal rituals among the soldiers, tolerated by the officers. As a professor's son Alex is exposed to special bullying, but his platoon keeps together and one of the elder privates, GAPPA, befriends and protects him. Alex learns quickly that the ideals of equality, democracy and human dignity are just propaganda. And he understands that rather than protecting the GDR from the western capitalist enemy, the border is there to prevent the own population from fleeing the ... Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Romance

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7 September 2007 (Germany)  »

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À la frontière  »

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Outstanding performance of Jacob Matschenz
29 October 2007 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I can't remember any other German-speaking newcomer who has impressed me so much as Jacob Matschenz did. There might be some flaws in the plot, but the topic is highly interesting and the cast is brilliant, e.g. Max Riemelt and Jutta Hoffmann to name those actors who are always grand.

But it's definitely Matschenz who carries the burden of being in almost every scene, but masters his job astonishingly. The transformation of his character is played so sensitively that you can't help but enjoy his performance although the topic is far from pleasant. Close-ups of his face show the enormous talent this young actor has got - his emotions become visible in tiny little changes of his facial expression. Not the big poses we know from most Hollywood films.

Some critics might say the cruelty at the German/German border belongs to history, but I think the exact opposite is true: those people who worked at the border treated the arch fiend (i.e. all the people from the Western world) so badly, they humiliated us travelers and visitors in an arrogant, mean way - and live among us as respected citizens today. They should not be allowed to... Let alone the cruelties they committed against their fellow citizens - which "An die Grenze" just points to!

The film shows the spirit that was behind all this - a good lesson in history for the younger generation.


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