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This film is certified

15 rating
  • implied sexual violence, suicide references
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Germany, Pale Mother

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Germany, Pale Mother 15 rating

Set during the Third Reich and its aftermath, this lyrical, harrowing tale of love and war is a neglected classic of New German cinema.

Drama 1980 151 mins

Director: Helma Sanders-Brahms

Overview

Set during the Third Reich and its aftermath, this lyrical, harrowing tale of love and war is a neglected classic of New German cinema. Hans and Lene scarcely have time to meet and marry before Hans is sent away to fight, leaving Lene to give birth during an air raid and struggle through the war with a baby daughter. Based on director and writer Helma Sanders-Brahms’ mother’s experience, the film explores the devastating impact of politics of family life.

Eva Mates (Lene) gives a brilliant, fearless performance, with the film casting a powerful emotional spell which is intensified by a delicate, plaintive piano score. German critics savaged the film at its premiere, baulking at its ‘subjective’ female take on recent history. Cut by 30 minutes for cinema release, only now has it been restored to its impressive original form and available for home viewing.