Germany, Pale Mother
|Germany, Pale Mother|
|Directed by||Helma Sanders-Brahms|
|Produced by||Walter Höllerer
|Written by||Helma Sanders-Brahms|
|Music by||Jürgen Knieper|
|Edited by||Uta Periginelli
|Distributed by||New Yorker Films (USA)|
|Release date(s)||20 February 1980 (Berlin Film Festival)|
|Running time||123 minutes|
Germany, Pale Mother (German: Deutschland bleiche Mutter) is a 1980 West German drama film written and directed by Helma Sanders-Brahms. It was shown at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival in 1980, where it was nominated for a Golden Bear award. It was not released in the United States until 1984.
The film is narrated by Anna, a German woman who tells the story of her parents before, during and after World War II. Her mother, Lene, meets her father, Hans, and they fall in love and marry. As the war breaks out, Hans is conscripted into the army and Lene suffers through air raids in Berlin. Her relationship with Hans becomes increasingly strained during his infrequent returns home on leave. She gives birth to Anna, and undergoes great hardship to keep her safe, crossing a forest in winter to escape to her family in the country, and later living a life of poverty in the ruins of postwar Berlin. As life returns to normal after the war, she and Hans are unable to rekindle their love, and Lene spirals into depression, exacerbated by the affliction of a crippling facial paralysis. The film ends with the suicidal Lene facing a hopeless future.
- Eva Mattes as Lene
- Ernst Jacobi as Hans
- Elisabeth Stepanek as Hanne
- Angelika Thomas as Lydia
- Rainer Friedrichsen as Ulrich
- Gisela Stein as Aunt Ihmchen
- Fritz Lichtenhahn as Uncle Bertrand
- Anna Sanders as Anna
- Anton Kaes. From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History as Film. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1989.
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