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David De Simone
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Berlin 1943/44 ("The Battle of Berlin"). Felice, an intelligent and courageous Jewish woman who lives under a false name, belongs to an underground organization. Lilly, a devoted mother of four, though an occasional unfaithful wife, is desperate for love. An unusual and passionate love between them blossoms despite the danger of persecution and nightly bombing raids. Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
Germany's entry to the Academy Awards, in the category of Best Foreign Language Film (1999). See more »
What do you want Felice?
You. All of you. Everything! But I'd be satisfied with one single moment, so perfect, it would last a lifetime. For example, this one. This one here is great. I don't want forever. I want now. Now! Now! Now! I want loads of 'nows' and I want them til I turn old and grey. And besides, I want more cake.
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A masterpiece... one of the greatest movies of our time
There does exist an expression in the German language that describes this movie perfectly. It's "großes Kino". Literally translated it means "big cinema" and you use it for movies that are really grand: Grand in their structure, grand in emotion and grand in class. If any movie deserves this title then it's this one.
The Plot: Berlin during WWII. We get an insight in the daily life of two complete different women who don't know each other. Lilly is young, married with four kids and because of this can afford a quite pleasant life (as Hitler was fond of mothers with many kids, they got more of everything than other families: more money, more food etc.). So while her husband is somewhere out there fighting the enemy, Lilly occasionally has affairs and while she has her fun with the men, a nanny is taking care of the kids. The other woman, also being quite young, is Felice. Felice is Jewish, works as a journalist for a newspaper and unlike Lilly has to daily cope with the fear of being discovered and transported to a KZ. As if it all were not enough, Felice is lesbian and enjoys life as much as possible in the circle of her (mostly lesbian) friends. Now, one day, Felice by chance sees Lilly in a theatre and almost instantly falls for her. Surprisingly enough Lilly loves her back and they begin an irresistible and passionate affair, which at the time and circumstances back there was like dancing on a volcano
Of course the film deals with WWII and the holocaust here but the best thing about it is that it's only done on the side. The plot concentrates on the two women, the two different worlds they live in and their feelings towards each other. It's all so intensive and it's not all about two suffering girls who lived in a horrible time and were not allowed to love each other, it's about two strong women with a lust for life who tried not to care too much about the Nazi regime, but to concentrate on seizing the day. After watching it you don't only feel for them, you admire them for having been so strong and courageous. But most of all you get to appreciate love and life again.
A truly great film about a great love in times where this love seemed to be impossible. Based on true events.
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