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."
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
A tight, clever and well done drama based on similar true events, as much a a psychological thriller which is not difficult to recommend. Straight away I got the same feeling as when I saw the German Oscar winning film Das leben der Anderen (The life of others) back in 2006. And this Norwegian/German story has similar elements in some ways, though not to be exaggerated, with consequences going back to when the Berlin wall fell, in this great casted movie which has managed to make Liv Ullmann making a comeback.
In a thriller-like manner we follow a woman in 1990 hiding her identity before going into a children's home archives in Germany in search of a secret. Then we jump to Norway, two weeks earlier to find out why this search has started, then understanding the woman is a German with a family living in Norway. We watch her being confronted with old memories, when a lawyer with German accent approaches her at work, wanting her to participate in a lawsuit regarding the so called Lebensborn-kids deported to Germany due to them having a German father during the second world war. The trouble is that she has a secret history in her life, which now is threatening to surface...
Lebensborn is a dark page in the past war history. During the second world war many German soldiers had relationships to Norwegian women. The women was called German-whores due to the hard feeling between the two countries in war. Due to Nazi ideology the children of these relationships was seen upon as extremely valuable, as pure aryan raced kids. Lebensborn was forced adoptions of these small "children of shame" during and after the occupation, bringing them to Germany as orphans, losing their parents. This story is based in these tragic destinies.
The film keeps interest way through, and is well acted and directed. A strong story making lives difficult several decades later.
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