Skip to main content

ZERO HOUR

Germany, 1976 (MIFF 1978)

Director: Edgar Reitz

It is July 1945; a small group of Germans are waiting in a suburb of Leipzig for the Russians to move in. The Americans have just pulled out of the area after occupying it first.

The country is about to change drastically, but these civilians, who meet at the local railway crossing, are still uncertain and bewildered. Their group includes an old man who looks after the crossing, a boy hardly old enough to have been conscripted into the war effort, a teenage girl, a mother who lost a son in the fighting, and a villager who has supported the Nazis, but is now an enthusiastic communist.

The youth has decided to go over to the Americans, but first he wants to find the money and jewellery that he knows was hidden in the local graveyard by a Nazi officer. He falls in love with a young girl and they plan to escape together.

At last the Russian soldiers come, driving a herd of cows and looting the area. They attempt to rape the girl, but she and the boy manage to get away across the lines into the American zone. But they find things are no different there ...

See also...

Speed

An impressionistic study of the changing appearance of our world, caused through speed. Simultaneously, the film is an avowal of the right of man to freedom of movement. ... Grand Prix, Lisbon ... More »

HEIMAT

Edgar Reitz' Heimat is more than just the longest film ever made, more even than the apex of the New German Cinema: It is a true landmark in the history of world cinema. At over 15 hours, Heimat ... More »

SHIRIN'S WEDDING

Shirin, a young Turkish giri, escapes from an arranged marriage and travels to West Germany, where she searches Cologne for Mahumet, the man she had hoped to marry. He has come to Germany from Turkey ... More »

THE BAKER'S BREAD

Erwin Keusch's comedy describes the troubles of a small baker in an age of ... automation and supermarket sales. A young man becomes an apprentice baker in a small town. After ten years, having ... More »

COMING OF AGE

Iranian director, Sohrab Shahid Saless, whose memorable Still Life was shown at the 1975 Melbourne Film Festival, and who is now working in Germany, traces the painful maturing of a ten year old boy ... More »

THE AMERICAN FRIEND

Wim Wenders' new film is a crime thriller, based on a novel 'Ripley's Game' by Patricia Highsmith, who wrote the book on which Strangers on a Train was based. Once again an innocent man is asked to ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director