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A Woman in Berlin (2008)

Anonyma - Eine Frau in Berlin (original title)
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A woman tries to survive the invasion of Berlin by the Soviet troops during the last days of World War II.

Director:

Max Färberböck

Writers:

Max Färberböck, Marta Hillers (book) (as Anonyma) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nina Hoss ... Anonyma
Evgeniy Sidikhin ... Major Andreij Rybkin
Irm Hermann ... Witwe
Rüdiger Vogler ... Eckhart
Ulrike Krumbiegel Ulrike Krumbiegel ... Ilse Hoch
Rolf Kanies ... Friedrich Hoch
Jördis Triebel ... Bärbel Malthaus
Roman Gribkov Roman Gribkov ... Anatol
Juliane Köhler ... Elke
Samvel Muzhikyan Samvel Muzhikyan ... Andropov
Aleksandra Kulikova Aleksandra Kulikova ... Masha
Viktor Zhalsanov Viktor Zhalsanov ... asiatischer Rotarmist
Oleg Chernov Oleg Chernov ... Erster Vergewaltiger
Eva Löbau ... Frau Wendt
Anne Kanis Anne Kanis ... Flüchtlingsmädchen
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

World War II ends and her story begins...


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Germany]

Country:

Germany | Poland

Language:

German | Russian | Georgian

Release Date:

23 October 2008 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A Woman in Berlin See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,439, 19 July 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$291,812, 20 November 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anonyma's memoir was virtually banned in Germany when it was first published in the late 50s. However, it became a huge bestseller and nationwide sensation when it was reprinted in 2003. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Anonyma: [in German] Soldier! Why are you taking a woman against her will?
See more »

Connections

Featured in History: Anonyma - Die Frauen von Berlin (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
'The pity of war, the pity of war distilled' Auden
24 January 2010 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

ANONYMA - EINE FRAU IN BERLIN (A Woman In Berlin) is the painfully sensitive title of this exquisite film from writer/director Max Färberböck based on a once occult book by 'Anonyma' that has become a recent bestseller in Germany. It has the courage to tell the story of what it was like in Berlin as World War II was ending - the time of the Russian siege of the city just before and just after Hitler committed suicide, ending the horror of the Nazi regime. While many films have been made about the German populace and how they coped with the fall of their 'great Third Reich' country that was to rule the planet, few have been able to allow the audience to understand the brutalities of war on the people of Germany in so direct a fashion. It is a film that will haunt the viewer for a long time, a film that will restore some dignity to the German people who lived through it, not being part of Hitler's madness but being trapped in the ugliness that followed his fall.

Anonyma (Nina Hoss) is a journalist, a pretty woman living in the cellars and other hiding places while the Russians took over Berlin. She helps her fellow survivors of the bombing of Berlin, struggling for food and protection. The Russian soldiers, still angry with the gnawing hatred for the Germans from the Siege of Leningrad and the loathing of anything that exists in Hitler's Berlin, drink heavily and seek out the women from hiding to satisfy their insatiable lust. 'Berlin is a German whorehouse' and all women, from children to youngsters to elderly fraus are continually raped and beaten as part of the victors' rage. Anonyma speaks several languages including Russian and decides her only hope for survival is to align with the Commander of the troops, Major Andreij Rybkin (Yevgeni Sidikhin), believing that if she becomes his concubine she will be safe from the random raping by the rest of the soldiers. Their liaisons become more than outlets for the Major and the two gradually bond despite the horrors outside their rendezvous. They survive. Hitler commits suicide and the war is over and the two face the reality of returning to their previous pre-war lives...or can they?

Nina Hoss is brilliant in this difficult role and though the script allows her little to say, she conveys so much through her expressions that words are nearly unnecessary. Likewise, Yevgeni Sidikhin captures the dichotomy of emotional response his character must display, finding just the right balance between the conquering Russian soldier and the compassionate and vulnerable lover. The cinematography by Benedict Neuenfels captures the devastation not only of the buildings but also of the emotions of both sides of the participating groups and Zbigniew Preisner is responsible for the musical score that adds immeasurably to the drama. This is one of the great German films that took many years of maturing to make. It should be seen.

Grady Harp


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