Edmund, a young boy who lives in war-devastated Germany after the Second World War has to do all kinds of work and tricks to help his family in getting food and barely survive. One day he meets a man who used to be one of his teachers in school and hopes to get support from him, but the ideas of this man do not lead Edmund in a clearer or safer way of living...Written by
The film underwent a restoration in 2013 through the Cineteca di Bologna. See more »
Eva, they're cutting the power.
The power? Why?
They discovered someone was stealing it.
Rademaker says it was us.
So that's what he was screaming about.
That black marketer. One day I'll smash his head.
You're such a big talker, but when it comes to helping us, you do nothing.
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After watching "Roma, città aperta" in the 1970's and "Paisà" in the late 1980's, I finally saw "Germania anno zero", the last part of Roberto Rossellini's war trilogy. Compared to the first two installments, they all share the immediacy of the war, but this time Rossellini is more direct: no subplots, only a handful of characters, all of whom move around young Edmund (Edmund Mëschke), the 12-year-old German boy who lives in a miserable apartment with five other families, and who maintains his sick father, his brother who was a Nazi soldier and his sister, who is close to becoming a prostitute. Edmund pretends he's old enough to work, but when he's denied that opportunity, he steals, sells items in the black market, or allows his former teacher to caress him lasciviously for a few marks. What's more impressive in this film is the lack of sentimentality – compared to De Sica's children movies- and the absence of preaching: when one character does preach, he would have better stayed shut! I think that many scholars are no longer interested in the aesthetics of Italian Neorealism, but–in my appreciation- Roberto Rossellini is one of the big names in the history of cinema, far more important than other filmmakers who are idolized, and his war films are more interesting to me than later works as "Voyage in Italy".
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