Roberto Rossellini’s “Germany Year Zero” is a frightening portrait of post-WWII Berlin, from the point of view of 12-year-old Edmund, who lives with his family in terrible conditions. The war may have ended, Hitler’s third Reich has fallen, but Berlin has never been more miserable. Edmund’s only concern is to provide food for his bedridden father, while his brother, a former Nazi soldier, must live in hiding or handle the consequences. Rossellini, famous for his War trilogy, which featured “Rome Open City”, “Paisan” and “Germany Year Zero”, wanted to show a nation in ruins, and to say that he has succeeded would be an understatement. This is a haunting piece of work, beautifully shot, masterfully directed, and featuring a superior performance by young Edmund Meschke. I absolutely recommend it.
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