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Lebenszeichen (1968)

A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying... See full summary »

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writers:

Werner Herzog (screenplay), Achim von Arnim (inspired by the short story 'Der tolle Invalide auf dem Fort Ratonneau')
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Peter Brogle ... Stroszek
Wolfgang Reichmann Wolfgang Reichmann ... Meinhard
Athina Zacharopoulou Athina Zacharopoulou ... Nora
Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg Wolfgang von Ungern-Sternberg ... Becker
Wolfgang Stumpf Wolfgang Stumpf ... Captain
Henry van Lyck ... Lieutenant
Julio Pinheiro ... Gypsy
Florian Fricke Florian Fricke ... Pianist
Heinz Usener Heinz Usener ... Doctor
Achmed Hafiz Achmed Hafiz ... Greek resident
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jannakis Frasakis Jannakis Frasakis
Eleni Katerinaki Eleni Katerinaki
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Storyline

A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying fortress, they guard a munitions depot. There's little to do: Becker, a classicist, translates inscriptions on ancient tablets found in the fortress, Meinhart devises traps for cockroaches, Nora helps Stroszek make fireworks using gunpowder from grenades in the depot. Slowly, in the heat and torpor, Stroszek goes mad, drives the others from the fortress, and threatens the city with blowing up the depot. With care, the German command must figure out how to get him down. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | Greek

Release Date:

9 December 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Signs of Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Kos, Greece See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DEM 25,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Werner Herzog's first feature film. See more »

Quotes

Young Child: Now that I can talk, what shall I say?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The South Bank Show: Werner Herzog (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Signs of Life is pure cinema
24 August 1999 | by buscemi-11See all my reviews

Signs of Life is one of the purest cinematic experiences in the history of film. For those unused to slow moving, simple stories the movie will probably seem painfully dull. The first time I saw it I was nearly driven crazy by the pace. It was my first Herzog movie and I was unused to movies that operated outside the Hollywood formula. But that feeling of going crazy is exactly what Herzog is trying to bring you to understand. He gets inside the boredom of his principal characters so that you viscerally understand what they are going through. When one of them finally snaps -- you understand. The visual poetry of this film will live with me forever. Herzog more than any director alive understands that a picture is worth a thousand words.


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