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Germany, Pale Mother
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Helma Sanders-Brahms GERMANY, PALE MOTHER is an emotionally powerful love story that has become a modern classic. Ground-breaking in its realism, the film is set during World War II and follows newlywed Lene, whose young husband, a soldier, is sent to the front lines. Lene discovers that she is pregnant and is forced to take her child on a journey across the war-ravaged countryside.
Raw and visceral, GERMANY, PALE MOTHER stands as a landmark a film that shows us war from a woman s perspective, creating a character in Lene who is by turns brave and foolhardy, resourceful and resilient, facing a bleak future with fierce determination. Eva Mattes (Effi Briest, Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant) delivers a performance of searing intensity, indelible and unforgettable.
Top customer reviews
Germany, Pale Mother is graced with impressive cinematography, a beautifully delicate film score, high quality production values, and powerful acting. However, it will fail to impress those who expect a flood of violence and action sequences. Others may find the emotional turmoil too much to take, so take heed if you consider yourself a sensitive viewer. (3.5 stars)
Germany, Pale Mother is remarkable for several reasons, not the least of which is the answer it gives to a question I've had, namely,how much did the "average" (for lack of a better descriptor) German suffer? The Germans who weren't Nazis but who weren't resisters or rescuers? The "everyday" people? What did they think about what was going on around them? Without giving away the story, I'll just say that the film, which is based on the life of the filmmaker and her parents, manages to expand the microcosmic view (those "everyday" lives) into something much bigger; indicating that "what goes around, comes around," indeed - even if you're just collaborating via "neutrality" and/or attempting to ignore what's going on around you. It indicates that the negativity that was unleashed in and around Germany went far beyond what happened in the early concentration -- and, later, death camps.
While it's not a perfect film, there are moments -- some of the film's best -- that remind me of the stylized work of Fassbinder and Schlondorff. And there's a a set piece; a sort of Brothers Grimm fairy tale sequence that's among the most horrifying and frightening things I've ever seen or read about the Holocaust. Which is saying a lot.
As another reviewer commented, I wish I could see more of Sanders-Brahms' films.