7.5/10
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8 user 6 critic

I Was Nineteen (1968)

Ich war neunzehn (original title)
April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army's scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted ... See full summary »

Director:

Konrad Wolf

Writers:

Wolfgang Kohlhaase (scenario), Gerhard Wolf (dramatisation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jaecki Schwarz ... Gregor Hecker
Vasiliy Livanov ... Wadim Gejman
Aleksey Eybozhenko ... Sascha Ziganjuk
Dieter Mann Dieter Mann ... Willi Lommer
Johannes Wieke Johannes Wieke ... Oberst Lewerenz
Rolf Hoppe ... Major Behring
Jürgen Hentsch Jürgen Hentsch ... Oberleutnant Schenk
Kalmursa Rachmanov Kalmursa Rachmanov ... Dsingis
Anatoliy Solovyov ... Starschinka
Jenny Gröllmann ... Deutsches Mädchen
Galina Polskikh ... Sowjetisches Mädchen
Mikhail Gluzskiy ... General (as Mikhail Glusski)
Otto Lang Otto Lang ... Pfarrer
Kurt Böwe Kurt Böwe ... Sturmbannführer
Klaus Manchen Klaus Manchen ... Blinder Soldat
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Storyline

April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army's scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted with the dilemma of having to fight men from the very country he was born in. Through dealing with challenging situations (e.g. he is appointed commander of Bernau, talks to many disillusioned Germans, and is once and again attacked by scattered groups of German soldiers), he grows more confident that not all hope is lost for post-war Germany. Based on the diary entries of director Konrad Wolf, the episodic movie authentically portrays the protagonist's struggle to come to terms with his own past and identity. Written by c.winter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

East Germany

Language:

German | Russian

Release Date:

1 February 1968 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

I Was Nineteen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deutsche Film (DEFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, Konrad Wolf had planned to elaborate more on the Soviet's abuse of German women. In the final script, only a small hint at this problem was included: a woman seeking safety in Greogor's commanding headquarters reasons "rather with one of them than with all of them." Considering the strong censorship common to the GDR in those days, this was nevertheless a bold and effective decision by Wolf. See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Cinema: Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No candy-coating on this one.
5 April 2002 | by FlossieDSee all my reviews

Director Wolf has a small masterpiece in this film, which is about the exploration of a young German-born Russian soldier's attempt to find his roots during the final days of World War II as the Russian Army advances on Berlin. This is also an unsweetened account of the chaos of war. Many suspenseful moments and never boring. Gregor, the nineteen-year-old of the title reveals himself throughout as the confused, self-conscious, prideful and sometimes ruthless young man that he is, not unlike any young man of 19 caught up in wartime situations. Highly recommended. Another look but an unusual one at the war that marked the 20th Century.


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