A story about post-World-War-II German soldiers who are not all morally and ethically perfect is unusual, although I expect this will change in the coming years.
The story of the investigation by Lieutenant Nicole Ziegler, played by Maria Simon, into the death of a soldier told by this film is dramatic and very suitable for filming. Although the film itself fell short of brilliance, it stayed true to the essence of the story, built up to a credible and fitting end, and found time to make a visual impact with both the natural beauty of Africa and the terrible effects of war.
The characters and their interactions with one another were all very credible, which is extremely important in the telling of a tale in an environment of which most people seeing the film, including myself, have no first hand experience. The quest for truth with some soldiers preferring the maintenance of morale to truthfulness is no longer a novelty for films in general, but it is good to see that a German team can also handle a film with this underlying theme.
The acting was of sufficiently high standard to convey the fear and mistrust prevalent in most of the film, and to provide those changes in mood so necessary in such an environment. The sequences portraying the beauty of nature and the poverty of village life in Africa, although short compared to many other films with an African setting, were sufficient as a setting for the plot, and may well have caused the film to be too long had they been extended.
However, on a couple of occasions I felt that the screenplay, whilst generally of a high standard, was somewhat contrived.
As a non-native speaker of German, I had difficulties understanding the dialogue at the beginning in the original German language version, but this improved as the film continued, perhaps because I was getting used to the accents.
The film is certainly well worth watching, and I look forward to further offerings from the director, Peter Keglevic, the leading actress, Maria Simon, and supporting actress Florence Kasumba.
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