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Susanne Wallner returns to the ruins of Berlin from a Concentration Camp after WW2 to discover that someone else lives in her apartment: Dr. Hans Mertens, the war made him depressive and he drinks a lot of alcohol. Susanne asks him to go but he doesn't want to, so they share Susanne's apartment and even discover their sympathy and then their love for each other. That encourages him a little, of course. But then he hears that Ferdinand Brückner is still alive and also lives in Berlin. Brückner was his Captain during WW2, he gave the order to kill more than 100 innocent people, many children and women among them, on Christmas 1942 in Poland.Written by
Landmark first film made in East Germany after World War II by the celebrated DEFA film studios.
"Die Morder sind unter uns" is a film about guilt,helplessness and incapacity.Its story is told through two main protagonists: Dr.Mertens (Ernst Wilhelm Borchert) and Suzanne Wallner (Hildegard Knef).Mertens is a doctor by profession yet he is an angry man as he hates the fact the war has killed countless innocent people. He is horrified to personally experience that in all wars pawns are always sacrificed to save the king. It is equally hard for the photographer Suzanne Wallner to forget her past. She gets tremendous shock as upon her arrival she finds that her city has turned into a pitiful heap of rubble. Both of them are lonely souls.In this film there is a villain too. He appears in the form of an evil Nazi man Bruckner.Die Morder sind unter uns was the first film made by DEFA (Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft). It might appear rather unusual but this film has film noir kind of looks. Expectations were very high with this film. Staudte was triumphant to have created a ground-breaking film. In the original version of the script Bruckner is shot by Mertens.This end was changed on the wishes of the Soviet Cultural officer Dymshitz as he reckoned that a notion of self justice should not be propagated.Staudte was fortunate enough to have Soviet side willing to produce the film as it was rejected by English and American military authorities.Die Morder sind unter uns occupies a unique place in world cinema history as it established the antifascist genre in DEFA film.
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