Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.
Vittorio De Sica
Edmund, a young boy who lives in war-devastated Germany after the Second World War has to do all kinds of work and tricks to help his family in getting food and barely survive. One day he meets a man who used to be one of his teachers in school and hopes to get support from him, but the ideas of this man do not lead Edmund in a clearer or safer way of living...Written by
On the occasion of the projection of this film in the Brussels Royal Filmmuseum (recently restyled as "Cinematek.be") on September 7th 1997, the program quoted Belgian filmmaker Henri Storck (1907-1999): "It is a well guarded secret, but during the filming in Berlin Marlene Dietrich - desperately in love - was Rossellini's secretary, typist and translator". See more »
This movie, shot in Berlin in the summer of 1947 aims only to be an objective and true portrait of this large, almost totally destroyed city where 3.5 million people live a terrible, desperate life, almost without realizing it. They live as if tragedy were natural, not because of strength or faith, but because they are tired. This is not an accusation or even a defense of the German people. It is an objective assessment. Yet if anyone, after watching Edmund Koeler's story, feels that something ...
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After watching "Roma, città aperta" in the 1970's and "Paisà" in the late 1980's, I finally saw "Germania anno zero", the last part of Roberto Rossellini's war trilogy. Compared to the first two installments, they all share the immediacy of the war, but this time Rossellini is more direct: no subplots, only a handful of characters, all of whom move around young Edmund (Edmund Mëschke), the 12-year-old German boy who lives in a miserable apartment with five other families, and who maintains his sick father, his brother who was a Nazi soldier and his sister, who is close to becoming a prostitute. Edmund pretends he's old enough to work, but when he's denied that opportunity, he steals, sells items in the black market, or allows his former teacher to caress him lasciviously for a few marks. What's more impressive in this film is the lack of sentimentality – compared to De Sica's children movies- and the absence of preaching: when one character does preach, he would have better stayed shut! I think that many scholars are no longer interested in the aesthetics of Italian Neorealism, but–in my appreciation- Roberto Rossellini is one of the big names in the history of cinema, far more important than other filmmakers who are idolized, and his war films are more interesting to me than later works as "Voyage in Italy".
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