Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Germania Anno Zero
Italy, 1948. Tevere Film, SAFDI, Union Générale Cinématographique, Deutsche Film. Screenplay by Roberto Rossellini, Dialogue by Roberto Rossellini, Carlo Lizzani, Max Kolpe, Italian version by Sergio Amidei, based on an idea by Basilio Franchina. Cinematography by Robert Juillard. Produced by Roberto Rossellini. Music by Renzo Rossellini. Production Design by Piero Filippone. Film Editing by Eraldo Da Roma.
Devastating film by Roberto Rossellini captures the horrendous living situation of Germans following the end of World War II. Ten Berlin residents comprising several fractured families live in a cramped apartment, with one young boy scavenging the city for food and supplies in order to help take care of his dying father, his political exile brother (who is living in hiding) and older sister. He navigates his way through the ruined city looking for any possible means of survival, but the economically destroyed society leaves him at the mercy of pedophiles and heartless neighbours before the young boy takes his life in an unforgettable direction. The film pulls no punches and is quite unpleasant, but also mesmerizing in its honest depiction of a shattered world. A high point in the neo-realist movement that won’t easily be forgotten by any audience member.