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A nameless woman keeps a diary as the Russians invade Berlin in the spring of 1945. She is in her early 30s, a patriotic journalist with international credentials; her husband, Gerd, a writer, is an officer at the Russian front. She speaks Russian and, for a day or two after the invasion, keeps herself safe, but then the rapes begin. She resolves to control her fate and invites the attentions of a Russian major, Andreij Rybkin. He becomes her protector of sorts subject to pressures from his own fellow soldiers and officers. Dramas play out in the block of flats where she lives. Is she an amoral traitor? She asks, "How do we go on living?" And what of Gerd and her diary?Written by
It is estimated that between 95,000 and 130,000 Berlin women were raped by Russian soldiers in the four months in 1945 that the Russian army occupied the city. See more »
In the film it was announced that Germany had surrendered and the Russians broke into singing the anthem version that had been adopted somewhat in 1944 and known as the "Alexandrov version." However it had no lyrics until Stalin intervened. It is doubtful that war events would have permitted all soldiers to learn it because of the fierceness of the war. Most likely they would have broke into the chorus of the better known anthem which was known as "The Internationale." See more »
Soldier! Why are you taking a woman against her will?
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It takes a war for you to find out about things like that
I haven't read the diary, but my father has and after we watched this together, he said that they got everything from the compelling book with its important testimony. This review is based upon the version with a two hour running time and six minutes of credits. After Berlin was taken over by Russian soldiers(among them men who had not had sex for four years) at the end of WW2, and raped 100.000 women, leading to the death of 10.000 of them. When this was first revealed in the late 50's, the truth outraged many in the country. It was called an attack on the virtue of female Germans. Fortunately, it was re-released in 2003, and now this excellent adaptation has hit theaters. There is apparently also a longer cut, and if the standard of this is maintained, it is undoubtedly great and worth it. This is gripping from start to finish. It all comes across as real and authentic(helped by the fact that they speak the three languages they are supposed to), and since this is entirely objective and doesn't take any sides in the conflict, you feel for both groups. The acting performances are spot-on. This has some marvelous little touches and details, and it is historically accurate. The characters are complex and psychologically credible. This is immensely well-produced. The camera-work and editing put you right in the situation when this fits, and is in general expertly done. This has extraordinary lighting. There are a few light portions that keep it from being all sad(without it taking away from how touching and engaging the rest of it is). It is tense and unpleasant when it means to be, albeit it isn't outright depressing. The atmosphere is built up well. There is a bit of moderate sexuality, nudity of both genders, brutal violence and disturbing content in this. The DVD comes with a trailer for this and ones for other films. I recommend this warmly to everyone mature enough for it. What happened should never be forgotten. 8/10
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