A Major Neo-Realist Work in Need of Restoration.
Paulo Leite | Lisbon, Portugal | 10/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"GERMANIA ANNO ZERO is a film made in the Neo-Realist tradition by the Neo-Realist master Roberto Rossellini. It tells the simple but powerful story of Edmund - a boy trying to survive between the ruins of Berlin right after WWII. His family is as ruined as the city he lives in: his father is confined to a bed, his older brother fears prosecution for his Nazi past and his sister is a prostitute. Just like everybody else, Edmund manages to get some money from selling the things he finds here and there on the ruins; until one day he runs into his old school teacher: an old man who still preaches the Nazi ideology and defends the elimination of the weak. Influenced by those ideas, Edmund poisons his own father.This is a powerful film that shows like no other the horrors of war (and the Nazi insanity) that inevitably destroy the lives of the ordinary inhabitants of the city. Rossellini, with his keen eye for detail (and his unique taste in composition), makes an impressive portrait of a chaotic city of empty ruins and basic survival.GERMANIA ANNO ZERO is the third and final film in Rossellini's famous Neo-Realist war trilogy and is as strong and poignant as the others: OPEN CITY (ROMA CITTÀ APERTA) and PAISAN (PAISÀ)....On the down side, this is a film that (like many european masterpieces) badly needs a restoration. There are print demages and the sound sounds like it was recorded a decade before."
BUYERS BE FOREWARNED!!!
Nathan C. Southern | Beverly Hills, MI USA | 05/22/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
This has to go on record as the worst quality DVD I have ever seen in my life. The image quality is so wretched, so absolutely horrendous, that it makes watching this masterpiece of a film quite literally impossible. The pixellation, at times, eats up not just individual shots, but entire sequences of the picture.
Actually, I've long found that a number of DVDs from Image Entertainment have this problem. Ecstasy (by Machaty) suffers from it as well.
It should not be legal to sell a disc whose image quality is this atrocious. I'm aghast that the company can even stay in business if they are marketing pieces of garbage like this DVD release.
Bottom line: Germania Anno Zero is a magnificent film. But avoid buying it on DVD and shoot for the VHS instead. Only that edition is watchable."
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 09/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some of the greatest movies of all-time have the ability to make us care about their characters as if they were real human beings. We forget they are only characters, we forget it's only a movie.
I've always said the greatest movie I've ever seen was "The Bicycle Thief" because it, more than any other movie, displayed the passion I'm talking it. The first time I saw that movie I was amazed. I had not seen many movies that could touch me in such a way. The only one that may have come close was Bergman's "Wild Strawberries".
All of these feelings resurfaced again as I watch Roberto Rossellini's "Germany Year Zero" easily one of the greatest films I have ever seen. All of the emotion, the human drama needed to make a great film is here.
This was the first Rossellini film I had seen at the time, since then I have seen "Open City", "Paisan", and "Voyage in Italy", but none of them seemed to touch me and provoke the power I thought this film had.
The movie is set after WW2 as a family tries to get by and rebuild their lives. A young boy, Edmund (Edmund Moeschke) feels it is up to him to provide for the family since his father is dying, his brother may be wanted for war crimes, and his sister, he suspects has become a "working girl".
They way these events are played out, the way Rossellini presents these characters to us our hearts have to go out to them. I was completely absorb while watching this film hopefully many more will feel the same way I do about this masterpiece.
Bottom-line: Easily one of the most powerful films I have ever seen. A masterpiece by Roberto Rossellini. He is able to make the viewer forget it's only a movie us our hearts go out to the characters."