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Rosenstrasse
Rosenstrasse
Actors: Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader, Svea Lohde, Jutta Lampe, Doris Schade
Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts, Military & War
PG-13     2005     2hr 16min

After the death of her father, a young woman investigates the truth of her mother's life during World War II.

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader, Svea Lohde, Jutta Lampe, Doris Schade
Director: Margarethe von Trotta
Creators: Margarethe von Trotta, Errol Nayci, Henrik Meyer, Kerstin Ramcke, Markus Zimmer, Richard Schöps, Pamela Katz
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts, Military & War
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/18/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 16min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, German

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Movie Reviews

A shifting screenplay does not land us squarely on ROSENSTRA
KerrLines | Baltimore,MD | 10/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I am a major fan of films that concern WW2 and especially the Holocaust and related topics.

ROSENSTRASSE is a film that,at its heart,concerns itself with the seven days in March 1943 in which Aryan women stood outside a building in Berlin in which their Jewish husbands were being held before their translation to the Auschwitz Camp. Hitherto, Jewish men's lives were "protected" under Nazi law by their marriage to Aryan women by having to work in German Armament Factories.This is a true story and worthy of complete attention. However, the director and screenplay writer have chosen to tell this story in a very confusing way involving way to many extraneous story lines and characters thus robbing it of its complete force. The narrative is non-linear and involves so many flashbacks and flash forwards in different people's lives that it is difficult to keep up with the various stories (especially reading subtitles).The DVD contains NO extras, which could have been very beneficial to aid in understanding this film better,especially as to why the director chose to dilute and confuse what could have been a much better and more focused film.For the price, I would not recommend purchasing this DVD unless you get it for under $4.00.It is worth only a rental at best."
A Holocaust movie with a difference
z hayes | TX | 03/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For me, this movie is very different than other Holocaust movies, in that it explores the issue of what happened to Jewish spouses of Aryan women...the story itself is based on a true occurrence, and the movie begins with a wake...the widow is tormented by visions of her past in wartime Berlin & shows disapproval at her daughter's choice of a non-Jewish fiance...the daughter then discovers there is more to her mother's past than she was ever told, and travels to Germany to discover her mother's past...the story is told in flashbacks through reminiscences, and basically focusses on the plight of Aryan women in Berlin whose Jewish husbands have been confined in a place called Rosenstrasse...I won't give too much away, but I must say that for a slow-paced movie, it is quite gripping as we are kept guessing as to the final fate of the Jewish spouses...as for the acting, the characters from the past did an excellent job, their performances were very realistic, and heart-wrenching, especially the actress who plays the main role of Mrs Fabian Fischer, the Aryan wife. In the present day, the actress who plays the daughter who seeks to unearth her mother's past wasn't very convincing, but all in all the story itself makes up for other lacks in the movie, and it is definitely watchable for the unique plot."
The History Behind this Film
Michael W. Perry | Author of Untangling Tolkien, Seattle, WA | 03/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Nazism had trouble knowing what to do with two categories of Jews:
* Those who had `Aryan' blood as well as Jewish (Mischlings)
* Those who were married to non-Jews with numerous family ties to ordinary Germans.

This film dramatizes actual events that began at the end of February, 1943, when Jews with German spouses were rounded up and imprisoned in a Jewish community center at Rosenstrasse 2-4 in Berlin. A crowd organized by their spouses (mostly wives of Jewish men) gathered to protest and prevent their transport to death camps in the East. It is likely that their protests were the reason Gobbels, the German propaganda minister, released the men.

Some groups championing non-violent action use these events to prove, to their satisfaction, that non-violence would work even in Nazi Germany. But success in the unique circumstances of late-February and early March of 1943 no more proves the universal truth of non-violent action than Gandhi's success with the British in India proves that those same techniques would have worked against Stalin or in today's Tibet. Often brutal force is the only way to end violence.

These protests came at the precise moment when Gobbels did not dare permit anything that would damage German morale. Stalingrad had fallen to the Soviets in early February, indicating to many Germans that the war was lost. In addition, on the 18th of February, Gobbels had given a speech calling on the German people to sacrifice themselves in a "total war." And finally, in Munich that same week, several students involved in a group called the White Rose were arrested for criticizing the Nazi regime. If these Rosenstrasse protests had taken place two months earlier or later they might have met with Gestapo arrests rather than success.

Two criticisms have been directed at this film. One is that it isn't done as a documentary, that it confuses viewers by flashing back and forth between today and the events of 1943. That criticism isn't persuasive. It may mean that viewers have to work harder, asking themselves, "Am I in 1943 or 2003?" But that technique also humanizes the characters, making them into people who could be our neighbors or friends.

The other criticism is far more telling. This film suggests that Gobbels released the men because a wife of one of the men seduced him. There's absolutely no evidence that took place. Most likely, Gobbels acted as he did for precisely the reasons described above. Finding out the morning after that he had slept with the wife of a Jew would have probably led Gobbels to kill both the husband and wife in revenge. Gobbels wasn't the sort of man to charm or blackmail.

If you ignore that grotesque blunder, you'll find this film excellent.

-Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements That Led to Nazism and World War II"
A street in Berlin, 1943 . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 09/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This German film revisits war-time Berlin and tells the fact-based story of non-Jewish women married to Jewish men, who after working at forced labor are separated from their wives and detained in a building on the Rosenstrasse of the film's title. Day and night, in the winter cold, the wives keep a vigil in the street, unable to make contact with their husbands and aware that they may be transported without notice to the concentration camps. The film focuses on a handful of the wives and the young daughter of a Jewish woman who is also being held captive.

Unlike many films of the Holocaust, there is little physical violence but frequent enough outbursts of anti-Semitism, as grim and anxious lives are lived under the boot heel of a merciless Gestapo. The entire story is set within a modern-day framework, as a young German-American Jewish woman comes to Berlin to unravel the mystery of her own mother's reticence about her war-time experience. We learn that she has lost her own mother but was sheltered herself by non-Jews, a concert pianist and her brother, who has been disabled while fighting on the Eastern Front.

At 2+ hours, the film moves slowly, and the mood of the time is reflected in somber, washed-out colors. Resolution when it comes is abrupt and not fully explained. Similarly, a secondary story about the young, modern-day Jewish woman's wish to marry a non-Jew is dealt with cursorily, and the conflict over it with her mother is resolved without explanation. Altogether, however, the film opens yet another window into a time and place that haunt memory and honors the resilience of those who resist tyranny."