Alone in Berlin

Jeder stirbt für sich allein
Berlin in June of 1940. While Nazi propaganda celebrates the regime’s victory over France, a kitchen-cum-living room in Prenzlauer Berg is filled with grief. Anna and Otto Quangel’s son has been killed at the front. This working class couple had long believed in the ‘Führer’ and followed him willingly, but now they realise that his promises are nothing but lies and deceit. They begin writing postcards as a form of resistance and in a bid to raise awareness: Stop the war machine! Kill Hitler! Putting their lives at risk, they distribute these cards in the entrances of tenement buildings and in stairwells. But the SS and the Gestapo are soon onto them, and even their neighbours pose a threat.
Completed in four weeks of feverish writing in the autumn of 1946, Hans Fallada’s (1893–1947) last novel memorialises Otto and Elise Hampel who resisted the Nazis between 1940 and 1943 and were beheaded for their actions. The novel – which has been adapted for the screen several times – is regarded as an authentic testimonial of daily life in Berlin under the Nazis. A quietly persuasive eulogy to human courage and dignity in an atmosphere of surveillance and intimidation.
by Vincent Perez
with Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Brühl, Mikael Persbrandt
Germany / France / United Kingdom 2016 103’

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Cornerstone Films

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