7.2/10
585
6 user 8 critic

Germany Pale Mother (1980)

Deutschland bleiche Mutter (original title)
Germany 1939. Hans and Lene marry the day before the war breaks out, and Hans is sent to the Eastern front. During a bombing raid their daughter Anna is born. The house is destroyed and ... See full summary »
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two sisters both fight for women's rights. Juliane is a journalist and Marianne a terrorist. When Marianne is jailed, Juliane feels obligated to help her despite their differing views on how to live.

Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Stars: Jutta Lampe, Barbara Sukowa, Rüdiger Vogler
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a leprous winery owner in 1930s China dies a few days after his arranged marriage, his young widow is forced to run the winery to make a living while contending with bandits, her drunkard lover, and the invading Japanese army.

Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Li Gong, Wen Jiang, Rujun Teng
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A harsh young man seduces a freeloading young woman and eventually takes advantage of her knack for hitch-hiking to rob middle-class men.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Miyuki Kuwano, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yoshiko Kuga
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Italian immigrant Nino steadfastly tries to become a member of Swiss Society no matter how awful his situation becomes.

Director: Franco Brusati
Stars: Nino Manfredi, Anna Karina, Paolo Turco
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young woman's life is scrutinized by police and tabloid press after she spends the night with a suspected terrorist.

Directors: Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta
Stars: Angela Winkler, Mario Adorf, Dieter Laser
More (1969)
Drama | Romance | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Stefan, a recent college graduate, hitchhikes from Germany to Paris where he meets American expatriate, Estelle. They chase the sun to Ibiza. An idyllic island life degenerates when she introduces him to heroin and they get addicted.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Mimsy Farmer, Klaus Grünberg, Heinz Engelmann
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Archie Rice, an old-time British music hall performer sinking into final defeat, schemes to stay in show business.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Brenda de Banzie, Roger Livesey
The Jericho Mile (TV Movie 1979)
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Larry "Rain" Murphy is stuck in Folsom Prison for life on a first-degree murder charge. An inmate who prefers to be alone, Murphy spends much of his time running around the facility's track... See full summary »

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Peter Strauss, Richard Lawson, Roger E. Mosley
Red Hollywood (Video 1996)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A documentary that examines the films made by the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist and offers a radically difference perspective on a key period in the history of American cinema.

Directors: Thom Andersen, Noël Burch
Stars: Paul Jarrico, Eric Johnston, Ring Lardner Jr.
Losing Ground (1982)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Sara, a cold college professor, and her husband, an ecstatic painter, spend a summer away from the city, straining their rocky relationship.

Director: Kathleen Collins
Stars: Seret Scott, Bill Gunn, Duane Jones
Hermann mein Vater (TV Movie 1987)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Director: Helma Sanders-Brahms
Stars: Maurice Bazin, Philippe Collin, Herman Sander
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eva Mattes ... Helene
Ernst Jacobi ... Hans
Elisabeth Stepanek Elisabeth Stepanek ... Hanne
Angelika Thomas Angelika Thomas ... Lydia
Rainer Friedrichsen Rainer Friedrichsen ... Ulrich
Gisela Stein Gisela Stein ... Aunt Ihmchen
Fritz Lichtenhahn Fritz Lichtenhahn ... Uncle Bertrand
Anna Sanders Anna Sanders ... Anna
Sonja Lauer Sonja Lauer ... Anna
Miriam Lauer Miriam Lauer ... Anna
Gabriele John Gabriele John
Johanna Karl-Lory Johanna Karl-Lory
Ursula Ludwig Ursula Ludwig
Lisa Örter Lisa Örter
Jeanine Rickmann Jeanine Rickmann
Edit

Storyline

Germany 1939. Hans and Lene marry the day before the war breaks out, and Hans is sent to the Eastern front. During a bombing raid their daughter Anna is born. The house is destroyed and Lene and Anna moves in with relatives in Berlin. Hans survives the war but he is not the same person as in 1939, and he and Lene find it difficult to live together again. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | French | English

Release Date:

26 September 1980 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Germany Pale Mother See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is semi auto-biographical and is based on Helma Sanders-Brahms's parents. See more »

Connections

Featured in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This review is for the restored full length version of this very harrowing film
28 May 2015 | by t-dooley-69-386916See all my reviews

Originally showcased at the 1980 Berlin Film Festival, this was initially criticised for being far too long – that being 151 minutes. So it was edited down to just two hours and has become seen as a German classic in the intervening years. It tells the story of Hans and Lene who meet before the outbreak of World War II and fall in love – both are not pro Hitler and so are not Party members. It opens with the poem of the title 'Germany Pale Mother' by Berthold Brecht and it is read by his daughter. It was penned in 1933 but to hear it today it would be easy to mistake it being about Hitler and the War.

When Germany invades Poland Hans is called up and so begins the long years of separation. In the meantime they have a daughter – Anna – who is the narrator of the film and tells their story through her eyes and the experiences of a child. The war is cruel and then when it is over the cruelties seem to get worse. This film spans many years and the heartbreaks and travails of just existing – let alone surviving.

This is not a war film – it uses archive footage (which looks very aged indeed) interspersed with the later material to try to place the story better in the historical context. The acting is all superb –but the story is depressing. It is meant to be depressing I think to ram home the cost of war and what it does to the body, mind and even the soul. There are some very hard to watch scenes here and at the full length this does need some commitment. There is a line that is possibly meant more as a plea than a statement and that is when Anna says 'who am I to judge, I was just lucky enough to be born later'. German speakers will not be impressed by the sub titles though – pretty average as far as they go. This though is a great film, it is one that the BFI have helped restore and it is a difficult watch, but it is also a film that needs to be seen if only for its message and it needs to be preserved in the hope that such folly will never be repeated.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed