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The Turning Point (1983)

Der Aufenthalt (original title)
Teenage German soldier is falsely accused of being a war criminal and arrested in Poland of 1945.


Frank Beyer
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Groth ... Mark Niebuhr
Fred Düren Fred Düren ... General Eisensteck
Matthias Günther Matthias Günther ... Hauptsturmführer
Klaus Piontek Klaus Piontek ... Major Ludenbroich
Hans-Uwe Bauer Hans-Uwe Bauer ... Karl-Heinz Fenske
Alexander van Heteren Alexander van Heteren ... Jan Beveren
Horst Hiemer Horst Hiemer ... Gasmann
Günter Junghans ... Gestapokommissar Rodloff
Krzysztof Chamiec ... Chef
Gustaw Lutkiewicz ... Szybko
Roman Wilhelmi ... Ohnehals
Andrzej Krasicki ... Amtsarzt
Zygmunt Maciejewski ... Eugeniusz
Andrzej Pieczynski ... Leutnant
Leonard Andrzejewski ... Aufnahmebeamter


The young German POW Mark Niebuhr, a former rifleman of an infantry battalion, arrives on a train at the Warsaw depot in October 1945. A Polish woman believes to have recognized him as the SS officer who murdered her daughter. He is separated from the group without knowing why and thrown into solitary confinement, alone with his worst fears. The investigation into his past is led by a young Polish lieutenant the same age as Mark. After four years, Mark goes to a cell with a Polish prisoner who confronts him brimming with hatred. At his work assignment in Warsaw's ruinous landscape, he must clear away the most dangerous of collapsing walls. He ends up rescuing a child, breaking his arm in doing so and ends up in the hospital, where he learns that his own murder investigation is fully underway. Following his hospital stay, he is transferred to a cell containing only German prisoners. Here, the old hierarchy and fascist spirit still reign in microcosm with General Eisensteck and Major ... Written by DEFA Film Library

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Germany's official submission to the 1984's Oscars in the Best Foreign Language category. See more »

User Reviews

Exceptionally moving exploration of forms of innocence and betrayal.
13 July 1999 | by jim-314See all my reviews

I was lucky to catch this movie (English title: "The Turning Point") at a university mini-festival of East German films. As far as I know it was never commercially released in the U.S. Based on a fictionalized memoir, it concerns a teenage German soldier captured in Poland at the end of W.W.II and falsely accused of war crimes. It's an extra-ordinary and complex exploration of the concepts of guilt, innocence, betrayal, justice, and self-deception. It's not a movie about good guys and bad guys, winners and losers. Rather, it concerns issues of both personal and institutional responsibility during war and its aftermath, and it's immensely moving. Not flashy cinema on the surface, but so beautifully written and acted that it stands out as one of the most haunting war films I've seen in the last several years (far more so than the recent jingoistic Hollywood blockbusters). It poses difficult, complex questions about human behavior during war, and offers no simple answers.

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East Germany


German | Polish

Release Date:

20 January 1983 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Futásod véget ér See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deutsche Film (DEFA) See more »
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