Innominate – A Woman in Berlin

Innominate - A Woman in Berlin
               Genre: Drama, War Film
  Geschichtstaufarbeitung and no end: the German cinema is currently being experienced again uncontrollably backwards – at least as regards the selection of materials. According to Uli Edel’s The Baader Meinhof RAF history complex and Philipp Stoelzl historically securitized mountaineering drama North Face, the cinematic journey of Max Färberböck Anonyma leads – A Woman in Berlin is also a German in the past. He highlighted, based on those published under the pseudonym Anonyma diary of a journalist, one of the great taboos of the end of World War II. This refers to the mass rape by soldiers of the Red Army in Berlin and elsewhere, had suffered by conservative estimates suggest that tens of thousands of women. Other estimates put the death toll much higher.

Almost as illuminating as the diary of Anonyma is also the reception history of this book, which is to date the only authentic publication for this dark chapter. So the book was initially not in Germany but published in 1954 in the United States and was immediately a great success. When the book after a number of foreign licenses late fifties, then appeared in Germany, however, it hardly came on interest. The young Federal Republic, was too busy to let the dark chapter of history and cover with the cloak of silence and repression to.

Anonyma description of the events in Berlin, stir in many respects at various taboos. In addition to the shame of victims and of refusing to, to revisit the injustices suffered, there are other factors to which transported the silence and repression: Firstly, because their own feelings of guilt if the monstrous crimes of Nazi Germany, which prevented processing . Added to this was that the perpetrators of the Red Army soldiers raped women and many of the citizens of the GDR were later, so that theming would be tantamount to the actions by the “sister state” and “liberators” a betrayal. And in addition to the substantive taboos, it was also the objective distancing, sometimes almost brash Anonyma narrative style, which alienated the readers of the time.

Berlin in the spring of 1945: Adolf Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich lies in rubble and ashes, in the final victory despite the persistence and slogans like “wonder weapons” already believe any more. When the Red Army marched into town, starts for the women is a tough struggle for survival, which is marked not only by hunger and deprivation, but also by the assault and rape of Russian soldiers. After a Russian-speaking journalist and photographer (Nina Hoss) was repeatedly raped, she decides to elect a high-ranking Soviet officer, as a protector, so that the suffering is finally over. When they come to terms with the Major Andrei (Evgeny Sidikhin), which is the beginning of a love between two people who have lost everything. But it is precisely in times like these, an honest and sincere as the connection between # Anonyma and her protector possible …
() Max Farberbock, who already proved with Aimee & Jaguar, that he has a knack for historical materials, characterized a largely balanced picture of events: the women he shows advised him not merely as victims but also to people who are aware of their own complicity in the Nazi regime. And, conversely, are the Russian soldiers, not monsters, but mainly driven by the desire for revenge for the immense suffering that German soldiers have taken over the Soviet Union. What do the deeds do not justify, but conversely transported at least an idea of how it could come to the spiral of retaliatory violence, whose sufferers are mainly women. Nina Hoss as Anonyma is also quite an ambiguous person: Even her introductory voice-over is hardly any doubt that this woman was a very well beneficiary of the Nazi regime. The war, a message of the film, makes sooner or later, all the victims – some sooner, some later. And in the human pecking order, the women are very often the last in the sacrificial pyramid.

What then, however, yet powerfully disturbing, is the emphasis on the love story between an upright journalist and her protector, to which there is in the records of the “real” Anonyma any indication. Perhaps there was indeed such arrangements, which then grew out of a genuine love. In a film that strives to be the reclamation of a taboo of such importance that works completely out of place. This, and the same old images of endless piles of rubble, which is familiar from dozens of German films of recent years and seem to always be the same, but despite the good intention to provide for a certain fatigue effect, precludes the Enlightenment and important intention of the film: The almost manic employment of German cinema with its own past, especially from the time of the Third Reich, acts strangely, despite all the commitments formulaic and stupid. And this is considering the theme but then a clear shortcoming of this film, which deals with a very important issue. Perhaps it is now finally free the way for a thorough reappraisal of the taboos. It’s about time.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: Anonyma – A Woman in Berlin Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2008 Length: 131 (Min) (# ) Distribution: Constantin Film Distribution

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