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In 1919 Quedlinburg, Germany, a young woman named Anna is still mourning the death of her fiance, Frantz Hoffmeister, in the Great War while living with his equally devastated parents. One day, a mysterious Frenchman, Adrien Rivoire, comes to town both to pay his respects to Frantz's grave and to contact that soldier's parents. Although it is difficult for both sides with the bitterness of Germany's defeat, Adrian explains that he knew Frantz and gradually he wins Anna and the Hoffmeisters' hearts as he tries to connect with them. Unfortunately, Adrien and Anna discover the truth of his motives and things seem shattered for all. However, when Adrien leaves, Anna has her own struggles with the truth and her feelings until she sets out to find Adrien in France. With that, Anna has her own journey to make in more than one sense, even as they both realize that neither have easy answers to their complex personal conflicts with each other and the dead man linking them.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A delicate and restrained study of grief, guilt, love and forgiveness
I found this intensely moving in unexpected ways...yes, there were the conventional triggers of war, death, loss etc. but it was so much more complex than that. The choice of black and white seemed appropriate for the period, (other reviews have referred to some scenes being in colour, but I don't think I saw any color whatsoever...maybe I'm wrong) and reminded me of Japanese films made by Ozu which can also portray very deep emotions without anyone raising a voice. This was restrained, beautifully paced, and reflected a time when people held their feelings in, in order not to make others suffer more. I had no trouble finding the events and the behavior totally believable.
The end wasn't what I might have predicted, but it was so much more "right" than anything else could possibly have been. It was the sort of ending a confident director, who knows his characters, would give the audience. In my opinion, a beautiful film.
16 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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