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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

West Germany, 1963
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 Festiv… More »

HEIMAT

West Germany, 1984
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 cove… More »

IN DANGER AND DISTRESS COMPROMISE MEANS DEATH

Germany, 1975
Fiction and documentary are blended in an attempt to produce an insight into the subjective nature of truth. ... Inge Meier, who steals from her lovers, is not a prostitute, but merely combines the s… More »

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