Directed by: Max Färberböck
Written by: Max Färberböck & Catharina Schuchmann
Full credits at IMDb
WWII is a cliché. So when a producer declares that his film exposes the "last taboo" of that global conflict — the systematic rape of Berliner frauen by the occupying Soviet army — it sounds too good to be true. Will we finally see something fresh? Around the mid-way point, an uncharacteristic moral complexity does emerge from the dully titled A Woman in Berlin (Eine Frau in Berlin), in which we kind of like the sexual aggressors and the women do, too. But director Färberböck is so insecure about this kind of ambiguity that he spoon-feeds us, mawkishly and insincerely, what leads up to it: there's the lazy and pervasive voice-overs (ostensibly a tribute to the anonymously authored, best-selling source material); the swelling strings; a disembodied young girl's creepy, slapback-soaked singing (did I wander into Orphan by mistake?); the ruthless close-up of a filthy, sweaty Russian's face as he spits on our protagonist — get it? Rape is degrading? The last taboo of WWII isn't any single unexplored story. It's a film that eschews the hackneyed tropes applied to every other movie that touches it.
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