German Movies you Absolutely Must Watch

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Table of Contents

German movies has a rich and varied history that spans over a century. Since its inception, German directors have demonstrated a great capacity for innovation and experimentation, creating some of the most influential and memorable films in cinema history.

The Golden Age of German Movies

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The most prolific period of German cinema is considered the “Golden Age,” which runs from 1919 to 1933. During this period, Germany was one of the leading centers of film production in the world, thanks to directors such as Fritz Lang, Robert Wiene, Georg Wilhelm Pabst, and F.W. Murnau.

The films of these directors were characterized by a strong expressionist component, which manifested itself in an innovative use of photography, set design, and acting. Films such as “Metropolis” (1927), “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920), and “Nosferatu” (1922) are considered classics of world cinema and have had a profound influence on the development of modern cinema.

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German Expressionist Films

German expressionist films were characterized by a dark and disturbing atmosphere, and often explored themes such as madness, fear and violence. Expressionist directors often used techniques such as the use of contrasting light and shadow, distorting perspectives, and deformation of characters to create an atmosphere of restlessness and uneasiness.

German Movies After World War II

After World War II, German cinema went through a period of decline, due to the devastation of the war and the division of Germany into two states. However, in the 1960s, German cinema began to re-emerge, thanks to a new cinematic movement known as the “New German Cinema.”

The New German Cinema Directors

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The State of Things. Wim Wenders 1981

The New German Cinema directors, such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and Wim Wenders, were inspired by American and French cinema, but developed a personal and original style. Their films, often characterized by a strong social and political content, were very influential and helped to renew the image of German cinema internationally.

The films of the New German Cinema explored a wide range of themes, including politics, social class, family, and the human condition. The New German Cinema directors were particularly interested in telling the stories of ordinary people, and often used a simple and direct cinematic language.

Films of the German New Wave

German New Wave films explored a wide range of themes, including politics, class, family, and the human condition. German New Wave filmmakers were particularly interested in telling the stories of ordinary people, and often used simple, direct cinematic language.

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Contemporary German Movies

In recent decades, German cinema has continued to produce high-quality films that have received numerous international awards. Some of the most important contemporary German directors include Michael Haneke, Werner Herzog, Fatih Akin, Christian Petzold, and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

German cinema today

German cinema is today one of the most vibrant and interesting in the world. German movies are often awarded at international film festivals, and are increasingly appreciated by audiences around the world.

German cinema continues to experiment and renew itself, and offers a unique perspective on the world and the human condition. If you are interested in quality cinema, we encourage you to check out German movies.

German Movies Not to Be Missed

German cinema offers a wide range of films, ranging from auteur cinema to commercial cinema. Here is a list of the best German Movies in the history of cinema, selected based on their influence, artistic quality and cultural importance.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Introduction:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 German silent horror film directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. It is considered one of the most important films of the German Expressionist movement and is widely regarded as a landmark work of cinema.

Plot Summary:

Set in a small German town, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari tells the story of a mysterious hypnotist named Dr. Caligari who uses his somnambulistic assistant, Cesare, to commit murders. The film is narrated by a young man named Francis who is initially skeptical of Caligari’s claims, but he soon becomes convinced that the doctor is responsible for a series of killings.

Reception:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its innovative visual style and its suspenseful plot. The film has been credited with influencing countless other horror films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920)

Introduction:

The Golem: How He Came Into the World is a 1920 German silent horror film directed by Paul Wegener and written by Henrik Galeen. The film is based on the Jewish legend of the Golem, a clay creature that is brought to life by a rabbi.

Plot Summary:

Set in Prague in the 16th century, The Golem tells the story of Rabbi Loew, who creates a Golem to protect the Jewish community from persecution. However, the Golem soon becomes out of control and begins to rampage through the city.

Reception:

The Golem: How He Came Into the World was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its special effects and its exploration of themes of identity and responsibility. The film has been credited with influencing countless other horror films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

From Morn to Midnight (1920)

Introduction:

From Morn to Midnight is a 1920 German silent drama film directed by Karlheinz Martin and written by Carl Mayer. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Georg Kaiser.

Plot Summary:

From Morn to Midnight tells the story of a young man named Anselm who is plagued by nightmares and hallucinations. He becomes convinced that he is destined to commit murder, and he sets out to find his victim.

Reception:

From Morn to Midnight was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Expressionist style and its exploration of themes of paranoia and alienation. The film has been credited with influencing countless other films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Destiny (1921)

Introduction:

Destiny is a 1921 German silent film directed by Fritz Lang and written by Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Hermann Sudermann.

Plot Summary:

Destiny tells the story of a young woman named Louise who is caught in a web of fate. She is in love with a young man named Fritz, but her father forbids the marriage. Louise is forced to marry another man, and her life is filled with tragedy.

Reception:

Destiny was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Expressionist style and its exploration of themes of fate and destiny. The film has been credited with influencing countless other films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Nosferatu (1922)

Introduction:

Nosferatu is a 1922 German silent horror film directed by F. W. Murnau and written by Henrik Galeen. The film is a loose adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula.

Plot Summary:

Nosferatu tells the story of Count Orlok, a vampire who arrives in a small German town. Orlok’s presence brings death and destruction to the town, and a young man named Jonathan Harker must find a way to stop him.

Reception:

Nosferatu was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Expressionist style and its atmospheric horror. The film has been credited with influencing countless other horror films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922)

Introduction:

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler is a 1922 German silent crime film directed by Fritz Lang and written by Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou. The film is the first in a series of films about Dr. Mabuse, a master criminal.

Plot Summary:

Dr. Mabuse is a master criminal who controls the underworld of Berlin. He is a master of disguise and manipulation, and he is always one step ahead of the police.

Reception:

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its suspenseful plot and its complex character development. The film has been credited with influencing countless other crime films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

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The Last Laugh (1924)

Introduction:

The Last Laugh is a 1924 German silent drama film directed by F. W. Murnau and written by Carl Mayer. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Heinrich Mann.

Plot Summary:

The Last Laugh tells the story of a proud doorman named Jakob who is demoted to washroom attendant. Jakob is devastated by his demotion, and he begins to lose his grip on reality.

Reception:

The Last Laugh was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Expressionist style and its exploration of themes of class and alienation. The film has been credited with influencing countless other films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Michael (1924)

Introduction:

Michael is a 1924 German silent drama film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and written by Carl Mayer. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Hermann Hesse.

Plot Summary:

Michael tells the story of a young man named Michael who is torn between his love for a woman and his commitment to his religious beliefs. Michael eventually chooses his beliefs, and he leaves his lover to join a monastery.

Reception:

Michael was a critical success upon its release, but it was a commercial disappointment. The film was praised for its Expressionist style and its exploration of themes of faith and sacrifice. The film has been credited with influencing countless other films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)

Introduction:

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried is a 1924 German silent epic film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Paul Richter. The film is the first part of a two-part adaptation of the Nibelungenlied, an epic poem from the Middle Ages.

Plot Summary:

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried tells the story of Siegfried, a young man who is sent to kill a dragon. Siegfried slays the dragon and takes its treasure, but he is also poisoned by the dragon’s blood. Siegfried eventually marries a princess named Kriem.

Reception:

The Nibelungs was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its action scenes, special effects and epic visuals. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and is still popular and influential today.

Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge (1924)

Introduction:

Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge is a 1924 German silent fantasy film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Brigitte Helm. The film is the second part of a two-part adaptation of the Nibelungenlied.

Plot Summary:

Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge tells the story of Kriemhild, the wife of Siegfried, who seeks revenge after his death. Kriemhild marries Etzel, the king of the Huns, and she invites her brother Gunther and his wife, Brunhild, to a feast. Kriemhild then has Gunther killed, and she starts a war between the Huns and the Burgundians.

Reception:

Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its epic scope, its lavish production values, and its stunning visuals. The film has been credited with influencing countless other films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Faust (1926)

Introduction:

Faust is a 1926 German silent drama film directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Emil Jannings. The film is an adaptation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s play of the same name.

Plot Summary:

Faust is a scholar who has lost faith in God and humanity. He makes a deal with the devil, Mephistopheles, in exchange for youth and power. Faust eventually realizes his mistake, and he must find a way to break his contract with Mephistopheles.

Reception:

Faust was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Expressionist style, its performances, and its exploration of themes of faith, doubt, and redemption. The film has been credited with influencing countless other films, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)

Introduction:

The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a 1926 German animated film directed by Lotte Reiniger. The film is based on the Arabian Nights.

Plot Summary:

The Adventures of Prince Achmed tells the story of Prince Achmed, who is banished from his kingdom by his evil uncle. Achmed sets out on a journey to find a magic sword that will help him defeat his uncle.

Reception:

The Adventures of Prince Achmed was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its innovative use of silhouette animation, its lush visuals, and its exciting story. The film is considered a landmark in the history of animation, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Metropolis (1927)

Introduction:

Metropolis is a 1927 German silent science fiction film directed by Fritz Lang. The film is set in a dystopian future where the city of Metropolis is divided into two classes: the wealthy elite who live in the sky and the working class who live underground.

Plot Summary:

Metropolis tells the story of Freder Fredersen, the son of the wealthy elite, who falls in love with Maria, a worker. Freder is horrified by the poverty and suffering of the working class, and he sets out to help them.

Reception:

Metropolis was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its ambitious scope, its groundbreaking special effects, and its exploration of themes of class conflict and social justice. The film is considered one of the greatest science fiction films ever made, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)

Introduction:

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City is a 1927 German silent documentary film directed by Walter Ruttmann. The film is a montage of images and sounds that capture the daily life of Berlin in the 1920s.

Plot Summary:

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City begins with the dawn and follows the city through the day, from the early morning rush hour to the late-night revelry. The film captures the diversity of the city, from its bustling streets to its tranquil parks.

Reception:

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its innovative use of montage, its stunning visuals, and its evocative portrayal of a modern city. The film is considered a landmark in the history of documentary film, and it remains a popular and influential work of cinema today.

Pandora’s Box (1929)

Introduction:

Pandora’s Box is a 1929 German silent drama film directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst and starring Louise Brooks. The film is based on the play of the same name by Frank Wedekind.

Plot Summary:

Pandora’s Box tells the story of Lulu, a beautiful and destructive woman who brings ruin to all who come into contact with her. Lulu begins as a prostitute, but she quickly rises through the social ranks, seducing and destroying men at will.

Reception:

Pandora’s Box was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its performances, its stylish visuals, and its exploration of themes of sexuality and morality. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen (1929)

Introduction:

Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen (Diary of a Lost Girl) is a 1929 German silent drama film directed by G.W. Pabst and starring Louise Brooks. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Margarete Böhme.

Plot Summary:

Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen tells the story of Thymian, a young girl who is seduced by a young man and forced into prostitution. Thymian is eventually rescued by a social worker, but she is unable to escape her past.

Reception:

Tagebuch Einer Verlorenen was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its performances, its realistic portrayal of prostitution, and its exploration of themes of sexuality and morality. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

People on Sunday (1930)

Introduction:

People on Sunday is a 1930 German silent documentary film directed by Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer, and Fred Zinnemann. The film is a portrait of a group of friends on a Sunday outing in Berlin.

Plot Summary:

People on Sunday follows a group of friends as they spend a day in Berlin. They visit the zoo, go swimming in the river, and dance at a nightclub. The film captures the carefree spirit of youth and the excitement of life in a big city.

Reception:

People on Sunday was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its realistic portrayal of everyday life, its use of non-professional actors, and its innovative use of editing. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

The Blue Angel (1930)

Introduction:

The Blue Angel is a 1930 German silent drama film directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Heinrich Mann.

Plot Summary:

The Blue Angel tells the story of Professor Rath, a respectable schoolmaster who falls in love with Lola Lola, a cabaret singer. Lola Lola is a seductive and dangerous woman, and she soon leads Rath down a path of self-destruction.

Reception:

The Blue Angel was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its performances, its stylish visuals, and its exploration of themes of temptation and corruption. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

M (1931)

Introduction:

M is a 1931 German crime film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. The film is about a serial killer who preys on children in Berlin.

Plot Summary:

M follows the police as they track down the killer. The police eventually turn to the underworld for help, and they form a pact with the criminals to catch the killer.

Reception:

M was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its suspenseful plot, its performances, and its innovative use of sound. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

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Vampyr (1932)

Introduction:

Vampyr is a 1932 German Expressionist horror film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and starring Max Schreck. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Sheridan Le Fanu.

Plot Summary:

Vampyr tells the story of a young man named Allan Gray who travels to a small village in Germany. Gray soon learns that the village is being terrorized by a vampire.

Reception:

Vampyr was a critical and commercial failure upon its release. The film was criticized for its slow pace and its confusing plot. However, the film has since been re-evaluated by critics and is now considered a classic of German cinema.

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Introduction:

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is a 1933 German crime film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Rudolf Klein-Rogge. The film is the sequel to Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler.

Plot Summary:

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse tells the story of Dr. Mabuse, who is imprisoned in an asylum. Mabuse uses his mental powers to control the criminal underworld from behind bars.

Reception:

The Testament of Dr. Mabuse was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its suspenseful plot, its performances, and its exploration of themes of crime and corruption. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Triumph of the Will (1935)

Introduction:

Triumph of the Will is a 1935 German propaganda film directed by Leni Riefenstahl. The film documents the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg.

Plot Summary:

Triumph of the Will follows the Nazi Party as it gathers in Nuremberg for its annual congress. The film celebrates the power and strength of the Nazi Party and its leader, Adolf Hitler.

Reception:

Triumph of the Will was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its technical virtuosity and its ability to create a sense of awe and excitement. However, the film has also been criticized for its propaganda value and its glorification of the Nazi Party.

Olympia (1938)

Introduction:

Olympia is a two-part 1938 German documentary film directed by Leni Riefenstahl. The film documents the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

Plot Summary:

Olympia is divided into two parts: “Fest der Völker” (Festival of the Nations) and “Fest der Schönheit” (Festival of Beauty). The first part focuses on the athletic competitions, while the second part focuses on the cultural events.

Reception:

Olympia was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its technical virtuosity and its ability to capture the excitement of the Olympics. However, the film has also been criticized for its propaganda value and its glorification of the Nazi Party.

The Bridge (1959)

Introduction:

The Bridge is a 1959 West German anti-war film directed by Bernhard Wicki. The film is based on a true story about a group of German teenagers who are tasked with defending a bridge from Allied forces during the final days of World War II.

Plot Summary:

The Bridge tells the story of a group of German teenagers who are assigned to defend a bridge from Allied forces. The teenagers are initially enthusiastic about their mission, but they soon realize the futility of their task.

Reception:

The Bridge was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of war, its performances, and its anti-war message. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Young Törless (1966)

Introduction:

Young Törless is a 1966 West German drama film directed by Volker Schlöndorff and based on the 1906 novel of the same name by Robert Musil. The film tells the story of a young boy named Törless who is drawn into a world of sadism and violence at a military school.

Plot Summary:

Young Törless tells the story of a young boy named Törless who is sent to a military school. Törless is a sensitive and intelligent boy, and he is initially uncomfortable with the harsh and brutal environment of the school. However, he is soon drawn into a world of sadism and violence when he witnesses two older boys sexually abusing a younger boy.

Reception:

Young Törless was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of adolescence, its exploration of themes of sexuality and violence, and its innovative use of cinematography. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Signs of Life (1968)

Introduction:

Signs of Life is a 1968 West German drama film directed by Wim Wenders and starring Rudiger Vogler and Hanns Zischler. The film tells the story of two German soldiers who are stranded in a bunker after World War II.

Plot Summary:

Signs of Life tells the story of two German soldiers who are stranded in a bunker after World War II. The soldiers, Robert and Heinrich, are initially hostile towards each other, but they eventually form a bond as they wait for rescue.

Reception:

Signs of Life was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of war, its performances, and its exploration of themes of hope and survival. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Katzelmacher (1969)

Introduction:

Katzelmacher is a 1969 West German drama film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring El Hedi ben Salem and Hanna Schygulla. The film tells the story of a group of people living in a working-class neighborhood in Munich.

Plot Summary:

Katzelmacher tells the story of a group of people living in a working-class neighborhood in Munich. The film focuses on the relationship between a group of young men and a young Greek immigrant named Katzelmacher.

Reception:

Katzelmacher was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of working-class life, its performances, and its exploration of themes of class and ethnicity. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

The American Soldier (1970)

Introduction:

The American Soldier is a 1970 West German drama film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Karlheinz Böhm and Hanna Schygulla. The film tells the story of an American soldier who is stationed in Germany.

Plot Summary:

The American Soldier tells the story of an American soldier named Michael who is stationed in Germany. Michael is initially attracted to a German woman named Maria, but he soon realizes that he is unable to connect with her on a deeper level.

Reception:

The American Soldier was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of American soldiers in Germany, its performances, and its exploration of themes of identity and belonging. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970)

Introduction:

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? is a 1970 West German drama film directed by Volker Schlöndorff and based on the 1921 novel of the same name by Heinrich Mann. The film tells the story of Herr R., a middle-aged man who goes on a shooting spree in a train station.

Plot Summary:

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? tells the story of Herr R., a middle-aged man who goes on a shooting spree in a train station. The film explores the reasons for Herr R.’s actions, including his feelings of alienation, his sense of powerlessness, and his desire for revenge.

Reception:

Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of violence, its performances, and its exploration

The Tin Drum (1979)

Introduction:

The Tin Drum is a 1979 West German drama film directed by Volker Schlöndorff and based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Günter Grass. The film tells the story of Oskar Matzerath, a young boy who stops growing at the age of three in protest against the world around him.

Plot Summary:

The Tin Drum tells the story of Oskar Matzerath, a young boy who stops growing at the age of three. Oskar is a precocious and intelligent child, and he soon becomes a local celebrity. However, Oskar is also a troubled child, and he is often misunderstood by those around him.

Reception:

The Tin Drum was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for three Academy Awards. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

Introduction:

The Marriage of Maria Braun is a 1979 West German drama film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and starring Hanna Schygulla. The film tells the story of Maria Braun, a young woman who struggles to survive in post-war Germany.

Plot Summary:

The Marriage of Maria Braun tells the story of Maria Braun, a young woman who is determined to survive in post-war Germany. Maria is a resourceful and determined woman, and she eventually becomes a successful businesswoman. However, her success comes at a price, and she is haunted by her past.

Reception:

The Marriage of Maria Braun was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Golden Bear at the 1979 Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Wings of Desire (1987)

Introduction:

Wings of Desire is a 1987 West German fantasy drama film directed by Wim Wenders and starring Bruno Ganz, Peter Falk, and Solveig Dommartin. The film tells the story of two angels, Damiel and Cassiel, who observe the lives of humans in Berlin.

Plot Summary:

Wings of Desire tells the story of two angels, Damiel and Cassiel, who observe the lives of humans in Berlin. Damiel is fascinated by humans and their emotions, and he eventually decides to give up his immortality and become human.

Reception:

Wings of Desire was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Golden Bear at the 1987 Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Goodbye, Lenin! (2003)

Introduction:

Goodbye, Lenin! is a 2003 German comedy-drama film directed by Wolfgang Becker and starring Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, and Chulpan Khamatova. The film tells the story of Alex Kerner, who must keep his mother, Christiane, from learning that the Berlin Wall has fallen.

Plot Summary:

Goodbye, Lenin! tells the story of Alex Kerner, who must keep his mother, Christiane, from learning that the Berlin Wall has fallen. Christiane is a devout Communist, and she would be devastated to learn that the GDR has collapsed. Alex must create a false reality for his mother, and he must do it without her finding out.

Reception:

Goodbye, Lenin! was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Golden Bear at the 2003 Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Downfall (2004)

Introduction:

Downfall is a 2004 German historical drama film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Bruno Ganz. The film tells the story of Adolf Hitler’s final days in the Führerbunker in Berlin.

Plot Summary:

Downfall tells the story of Adolf Hitler’s final days in the Führerbunker in Berlin. The film follows Hitler as he comes to terms with the defeat of Nazi Germany and his own impending death.

Reception:

Downfall was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of the events leading up to the end of World War II, its performances, and its direction. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

The Lives of Others (2006)

Introduction:

The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and starring Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, and Sebastian Koch. The film tells the story of Gerd Wiesler, a Stasi officer who is assigned to spy on a playwright and his lover.

Plot Summary:

The Lives of Others tells the story of Gerd Wiesler, a Stasi officer who is assigned to spy on a playwright and his lover. Wiesler is initially ruthless in his surveillance, but he soon begins to develop sympathy for the couple.

Reception:

The Lives of Others was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

The Counterfeiters (2007)

Introduction:

The Counterfeiters is a 2007 German historical drama film directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky and starring Karl Markovics, August Diehl, and Christian Berkel. The film tells the story of Salomon Sorowitsch, a Jewish counterfeiter who is forced to work for the Nazis during World War II.

Plot Summary:

The Counterfeiters tells the story of Salomon Sorowitsch, a Jewish counterfeiter who is forced to work for the Nazis during World War II. Sorowitsch is a brilliant counterfeiter, and he uses his skills to help the Jews he is imprisoned with.

Reception:

The Counterfeiters was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for five Academy Awards. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

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The White Ribbon (2009)

Introduction:

The White Ribbon is a 2009 German historical drama film directed by Michael Haneke. The film tells the story of a small German village in 1913, where a series of mysterious accidents and crimes begin to occur.

Plot Summary:

The White Ribbon tells the story of a small German village in 1913. The village is seemingly peaceful, but a series of mysterious accidents and crimes begin to occur. The film follows the investigation of the crimes, and it explores the themes of innocence, guilt, and responsibility.

Reception:

The White Ribbon was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for six Academy Awards. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Victoria (2015)

Introduction:

Victoria is a 2015 German thriller film directed by Sebastian Schipper and starring Laia Costa and Frederick Lau. The film is a real-time thriller that follows Victoria, a young Spanish woman who meets a group of young Germans in Berlin.

Plot Summary:

Victoria is a real-time thriller that follows Victoria, a young Spanish woman who meets a group of young Germans in Berlin. Victoria is initially hesitant to join them, but she soon finds herself caught up in their dangerous world.

Reception:

Victoria was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its innovative filmmaking, its performances, and its suspenseful plot. The film won the Silver Bear at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Toni Erdmann (2016)

Introduction:

Toni Erdmann is a 2016 German comedy-drama film directed by Maren Ade and starring Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek. The film tells the story of Ines, a successful businesswoman, who is visited by her estranged father, Winfried, who is dressed as a clown.

Plot Summary:

Toni Erdmann tells the story of Ines, a successful businesswoman, who is visited by her estranged father, Winfried, who is dressed as a clown. Winfried is determined to reconnect with his daughter, and he uses his clown persona to do so.

Reception:

Toni Erdmann was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Golden Bear at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

System Crasher (2019)

Introduction:

System Crasher is a 2019 German drama film directed by Nora Fingscheidt and starring Helena Zengel. The film tells the story of Benni, a nine-year-old girl who is diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder.

Plot Summary:

System Crasher tells the story of Benni, a nine-year-old girl who is diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder. Benni is a disruptive child who is constantly getting into trouble. She is placed in a series of foster homes, but she never seems to fit in.

Reception:

System Crasher was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film won the Silver Bear at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best International Feature Film. The film is considered a classic of German cinema and a major influence on the work of later filmmakers.

Adele Resilienza

Adele Resilienza

Law graduate, graphologist, writer, historian and film critic since 2008.

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