7.7/10
756
9 user 6 critic

I Was Nineteen (1968)

Ich war neunzehn (original title)
April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army's scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted ... See full summary »

Director:

Konrad Wolf

Writers:

Wolfgang Kohlhaase (scenario), Gerhard Wolf (dramatisation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jaecki Schwarz Jaecki Schwarz ... Gregor Hecker
Vasiliy Livanov ... Wadim Gejman
Aleksey Eybozhenko ... Sascha Ziganjuk
Dieter Mann Dieter Mann ... Willi Lommer
Johannes Wieke Johannes Wieke ... Oberst Lewerenz
Rolf Hoppe ... Major Behring
Jürgen Hentsch Jürgen Hentsch ... Oberleutnant Schenk
Kalmursa Rachmanov Kalmursa Rachmanov ... Dsingis
Anatoliy Solovyov ... Starschinka
Jenny Gröllmann ... Deutsches Mädchen
Galina Polskikh ... Sowjetisches Mädchen
Mikhail Gluzskiy ... General (as Mikhail Glusski)
Otto Lang Otto Lang ... Pfarrer
Kurt Böwe Kurt Böwe ... Sturmbannführer
Klaus Manchen Klaus Manchen ... Blinder Soldat
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Storyline

April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army's scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted with the dilemma of having to fight men from the very country he was born in. Through dealing with challenging situations (e.g. he is appointed commander of Bernau, talks to many disillusioned Germans, and is once and again attacked by scattered groups of German soldiers), he grows more confident that not all hope is lost for post-war Germany. Based on the diary entries of director Konrad Wolf, the episodic movie authentically portrays the protagonist's struggle to come to terms with his own past and identity. Written by c.winter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

East Germany

Language:

German | Russian

Release Date:

1 February 1968 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

I Was Nineteen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deutsche Film (DEFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Ich war neunzehn" is for the most part based on the diary director Konrad Wolf kept throughout his time with the Red Army in 1945 and is thus a very personal, authentic, autobiographical account of the last days of World War 2. However, some scenes, e.g. the one in which a blind German soldier mistakes Gregor for an fellow German, had no basis in Wolf's journal and were included for their cinematographic value. See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Communist propaganda in a human way
28 July 2009 | by wvisser-leusdenSee all my reviews

Shot in Eastern Germany in 1968, 'Ich war neunzehn' (= German for 'I was nineteen years old') is among the better films from the former Communist part of Europe.

Set in the last days of Adolf Hitler, 'Ich war neunzehn' deals with Stalin's Red Army invading Germany from the East. To avoid the countless atrocities committed by both sides in the most savage war in history of mankind, the East German filmmakers choose to show events through the eyes of a nineteen year old boy. A logical choice: this introduces innocence, as well as hope for the future.

The rest of this enjoyable film is propaganda, sold in a friendly and human way. The Red Army is presented as liberating the German common people from Hitler's rule. Its victorious soldiers show themselves eager to make friends with them.

In reality, after three terrible years of German occupation in the Soviet Union, Stalin's soldiers applied a fearful revenge when invading Germany. A revenge encouraged by steady Communist propaganda. It resulted in many crimes, such as the free rape of German women. You will understand that 'Ich war neunzehn' ignores this.


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