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Athabasca University

Contemporary German Films

These German films are available on loan from the Athabasca University library. All films are in German with English subtitles.

Das Boot. Writer-director Wolfgang Petersen portrays the hazardous and excruciatingly uncomfortable life aboard a U-boat during World War II as a young crew on a top secret mission tests its courage and the seaworthiness of its equipment. This original, uncut version is over four hours long and was first released in 1985 and re-released in 2004. Call number: Germ 202 DVD

Goodbye Lenin (Wolfgang Becker, 2004) is a charming film of the Ostalgie movement—a play on the word nostalgia—that fondly remembers the good aspects of life in the DDR that people tended to overlook when the divided Germany existed. A young man attempts to recreate life in the former East Berlin for his sick mother who has been in a coma for eight months and missed the fall of the Berlin Wall. Underneath the comedy are the questions of one’s place in the universe, familial duty, and social satire aimed at both East German socialism and the consumerism of West Germany. Call number: Germ 202 DVD

Gegen die Wand (Head-On). Fatih Akin, the young Turkish-German filmmaker, tells the story of a young Turkish-German woman who enters an arranged marriage to escape the confines of her very traditional family life. Longing to experience the fullness of life, she  seeks sexual adventures, experiments with drugs and learns to love her husband. The 2004 film contains humour as well as graphic sexual scenes and violence. (118 min.) Call number: GERM 202, 203, 302, 303 DVD

Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, received the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This political thriller follows the lives of a successful, artsy couple in East Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He is a famous, seemingly pro-Socialist writer and she a beautiful actress. As their lives fall apart under the pressures of the corrupt government, the Stasi policeman who monitors their every movement succumbs to their humanity with severe consequences for his own life. (138 min.) Call number: GERM 202, 203, 302, 303 DVD

Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) If Lola can get enough money to a certain spot by a certain time, she will save her boyfriend Manni from being killed by gangsters. The film examines the same incident over and over with only slight changes to time and space that entirely alter the outcome of Lola’s task. Written and directed by Tom Tykwer, 1999. Call number: Germ 202 DVD

Nirgendwo in Afrika (Caroline Link, 2002) portrays the true story of a German Jewish family in exile in Kenya in East Africa during World War II. The drama highlights the beauty of the African landscape and questions the meaning of the words home and homeland. The film is an Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film. Call number: Germ 202 DVD

Sophie Scholl: die letzten Tage (Sophie Scholl: the Final Days). Sophie Scholl became a hero of the 1943 Munich student underground resistance movement, the White Rose, because of her steadfast resistance to the Gestapo and her unswerving call for freedom. Marc Rothemund’s 2005 film of this true story has won many European film awards, among them Best Director and Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival. (117 min.) Call number: GERM 202, 203, 302, 303 DVD

Der Undergang (Downfall). The famous German actor Bruno Ganz portrays Hitler in his bunker during the last days of WWII. Hitler’s companions show confused but sincere devotion, fanaticism, optimism, failure to face reality, and finally desperation as the Third Reich crumbles around them. Oliver Hirschbiegel’s 2005 film, running 2 hours 35 minutes, contains many brutal war scenes. Call number: GERM 000 DVD

Updated September 16 2014 by Student & Academic Services

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