As the Berlin Wall crumbles, Katrine, the daughter of a Norwegian woman and a German occupation soldier, finds her idyllic life disrupted as she refuses to testify a trial against the Norwegian state on behalf of her fellow "war children."
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Europe 1990, the Berlin wall has just crumbled: Katrine, raised in East Germany, now living in Norway since 20 years, is a war child: the result of a love relationship between a Norwegian woman and a German occupation soldier during World War II. Katrine enjoys a happy family life, with her mother, her husband, daughter and grand-daughter. But when a lawyer asks her and her mother to witness in a trial against the Norwegian state on behalf of the war children, she resists. Gradually, a web of concealment and secrets is unveiled, until Katrine is finally stripped of everything, and her loved ones are forced to take a stand: What carries more weight, the life they have lived together, or the lie it is based on? Written by
You can read summaries of this movie's plot line elsewhere. This movie is all about Juliane Kohler's heart-searing portrayal of a woman coming to terms with her past. For me, five stars on Netflix, ten stars on IMDb.
Some have written that the plot is implausible. It is not. It is fascinating. I had never before heard of Juliane Kohler until coming across this movie on Netflix, but I now expect to see everything I can find with her. She is absolutely riveting. Her astonishingly expressive face is the centerpoint of every scene. In fact, at nearly fifty years of age, she is more beautiful than photos I have seen of her in movies ten and twenty years earlier.
Too, Liv Ullman is wonderful as her mother. I haven't see Ms. Ullman since her films with Ingmar Bergman in the late 50's and 60's, followed by the wonderful "The Emigrants". She has been too long away from the camera.The rest of the cast is also excellent. But Ms. Kohler: oh my, oh my, oh my.
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