Toth Database - Cinema

Germany Year Zero



Year: 1948

Duration: 75 min

Color: B/N

Gender: Dramatic 

Director: Roberto Rossellini

Producer: Roberto Rossellini

Photograph: Robert Julliard

Editing: Eraldo From Rome

Music: Renzo Rossellini

Scene: Piero Filippone






Berlin 1946, in the immediate post-war period, is still a bleak pile of rubble. Young Edmund lives here when he was just 12 years old, spending his days wandering around the city. He tries to raise some money to support the family, which ended in misery. Displaced by the destruction of war, she is reluctantly housed in a palace with other people. Edmund's father is also immobilized in bed, severely winged of the heart; the mother died and her sister Eva takes care of the infirm parent. His brother, Karl-Heinz, is a former soldier of the Wehrmact, who fought in Russia and the battle of Berlin, and not leave the House because no documents, fearing he would end up in a concentration camp. Between crime spree, barter, games with friends and searching for any kind of work. Edmund did not lose heart. One day, his former teacher Edmund meets Mr. Enning at school, a Nazi devoid of teaching qualification, which leads him into the House where he lives. At the beginning he entrusts the task to sell Hitler's speeches. The slimy teacher, pedophile, probably as some of his friends, subdues with his irrational theories to the effect that the weakest have to succumb and the strong survive. The ailing father, after a crisis ends up in the hospital for a few days, but returned, found the same misery. The younger, after removing a flask to the hospital, secretly poisons his father killing him. Meanwhile the police to search the House and Karl-Heinz, who has no papers, is taken away. Eva warns the other tenants of his father's death. The next day, Karlo-Heinz back free home and sister Eva tells him that his father is dead. Edmund, after a discussion with the brothers rough Ranger day and night in the ruins of the city, only to come back the next day by former master to whom he confesses the parricide. But Ennig, terrified and afraid to get involved, gives the fool and the monster. Edmund escapes again, aimlessly. The boy upset, did not dare to go home and, in his restless wanderings, listen to the sound of an organ out of a destroyed Church and walks away. Finally, Edmund climbs on the ruined building in front of their House, where she sees carry away the coffin of his father. The brothers, were late, looking for Edmund, calling him, but he doesn't answer. Crushed by the weight of remorse shortly after commits suicide by jumping into the void.




Rossellini's masterpiece, which consecrated him in France and the USA as the undisputed master, in Germany year Zero are condensed by him all the themes dear to neorealist cinema: the non-professional actors, the long outdoor shots (the roundup of the young Edmund walking among the bombed ruins is a moment of great cinema), the stories of ordinary people, the attention to children and also an authentic and deep moral sense, true soul of a film that has marked as few Italian cinema.


The film was shot between August 1947 and February 1948 partly amid the rubble of post-war Berlin (as far as the exterior shall be concerned) and partly in Rome (for interior scenes).


The film was first shot in German and then voiced in Italian by Sergio Amidei.


When Roberto Rossellini went to Berlin for the film, he arranged auditions to find the actors; one of these, as he recounts in his autobiography, was attended by a young Klaus Kinski.

After hours of waiting in the waiting room with the other aspiring actors, the auditions were delayed, while the director lingered on the phone with Anna Magnani; In one of his typical bouts of anger, Kinski began to invective with Rossellini, who immediately replied: Who is that? I'm interested! Give him an audition