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View Full Version : Epic German Production: "Our Mothers, Our Fathers"



Schuultz
05-13-2011, 09:08 PM
Hey everyone, I just read about a German project: "Unsere Muetter, Unsere Vaeter", three 90 minute TV-Movies about the fates of 5 young Germans between 1941 and 1945:
The two brothers Wilhelm and Friedhelm, both of whom fight with the Wehrmacht against the Red Army, the two sisters Charlotte and Greta, nurse and entertainer respectively, and the German Jew Viktor, who I guess is having a jolly old time.

http://www.faz.net/m/%7B0186532C-C466-4420-855C-38127F5AEFC8%7DPicture.jpg
The producers are talking a big game about how they want to "tell WW2 similarly huge as the Americans do", with movies such as "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers" as their standard. The filming itself has wrapped up in Lithuania, the films cost 13.8 million Euros (~19.5 million USD) and feature some 2,000 actors/extras. The director (Philipp Kadelbach) previously directed "Hindenburg", for those of you who have seen it.

http://www.faz.net/m/%7B4CE0DE7B-7281-409E-86F8-9C068763A470%7DPicture.jpg
The trilogy is apparently the pet project of Thomas Bellut, heir-apparent to the ZDF, one of Germany's two federal public channels. Those have a relatively good track record when it comes to their historical epics, so this might actually turn out pretty good. Many high profile German productions are made-for-TV because of the easier access to funding - when they aren't producing shallow rom-coms, their level of quality is usually pretty admirable. So let's hope for the best.

http://www.faz.net/m/%7BD5EFA202-A999-4054-A689-8CABF024C522%7DPicture.jpg
Source: FAZ: Als liefen sie tatsaechlich um ihr Leben (http://www.faz.net/s/Rub510A2EDA82CA4A8482E6C38BC79C4911/Doc~E588771E27679495AB339E4C702B0F632~ATpl~Ecommon ~Scontent.html) (German)

skorzeny57
05-14-2011, 01:31 AM
Thanx for the info and the link, Schuultz. It seems interesting...

flamethrowerguy
05-14-2011, 07:00 AM
Sounds interesting, yes. However I'm pretty sure German film makers will manage to ruin it by including a slushy love story or the mandatory Holocaust reminder...

Rising Sun*
05-14-2011, 07:07 AM
Sounds interesting, yes. However I'm pretty sure German film makers will manage to ruin it by including a slushy love story or the mandatory Holocaust reminder...

They're just imitating Hollywood, which usually ruins a good war movie by putting a woman and, worse, a love story into it.

As for the Holocaust reminder, I can't think of any mainstream Hollywood or other English-speaking film which was based on the Allies' knowledge of the concentration camps etc and their decision to ignore them in preference for prosecuting the war against Germany. Victor's film making is akin to victor's justice.

Many years ago we had an excellent German series here called, I think, Heimat which covered the pre-WWII and WWII lives of some 'ordinary' Germans and gave a useful German perspective on that period. If the latest film is as good, it'll be well worth watching.

skorzeny57
05-14-2011, 08:19 AM
Sounds interesting, yes. However I'm pretty sure German film makers will manage to ruin it by including a slushy love story or the mandatory Holocaust reminder...

Not only German film makers do this kind of things, in order to increase the target for a movie based on a war story. American, English and Italian film makers do all their best to include some mawkish sentimentality or a sugary love story...
I agree with Rising Sun* about "Heimat". It was about the story of common German people during pre-war, WWII and post-war period. Good TV series.

Rising Sun*
05-14-2011, 09:05 AM
American, English and Italian film makers do all their best to include some mawkish sentimentality or a sugary love story...


Plus American film makers insist on putting American actors in the lead roles to play people whose accents they can't begin to approximate, e.g. Meryl Streep, Robert Mitchum, and sundry others who think that Australians have Cockney accents and who reduce Australian audiences to outright laughter at times.

Does this happen in Europe with actors of one European nation making a bad attempt to sound like people in another nation?

As for mawkish sentimentality, nobody can beat the Americans at that. Not to mention the tear-jerking music to emphasise the moment.

On the other hand, the stupendous resources available to American film makers allow them to make some remarkable films such as Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List.

But there are some other films at least as good, although not well known in the West. I think this Russian one is in the top few of WWII films, both for subject matter and film technique, and indeed one of the greatest war (and perhaps other) films ever made: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091251/

downwithpeace
05-14-2011, 09:40 AM
Looks interesting, hopefully a subbed version will be released and not to long after the original airdate.


Does this happen in Europe with actors of one European nation making a bad attempt to sound like people in another nation?
Can't speak for mainland Europe but sometimes here and in the UK it's done, Americans doing bad Irish is the worst. 2ft tall with a spring in the step sound to it.

Rising Sun*
05-14-2011, 10:09 AM
Can't speak for mainland Europe but sometimes here and in the UK it's done, Americans doing bad Irish is the worst. 2ft tall with a spring in the step sound to it.

I'd forgotten about how those overacted attempts at Irish stand out like dogs' balls, and how they've been a staple of Hollywood since its inception.

Schuultz
05-14-2011, 10:35 AM
Sounds interesting, yes. However I'm pretty sure German film makers will manage to ruin it by including a slushy love story or the mandatory Holocaust reminder...

If you read the article I think he actually made a point out of trying to go for 'authenticity' by not including a forced love story in the soldiers' stories. However, they do have the nurse and entertainer storylines for that, and I'd be shocked if some romance didn't creep in over the course of three movies.
I've read a while back that in Hollywood, there's a rule of thumb that there's four audiences: Old Men, Young Men, Old Women, Young Women. For a script to be accepted by any of the major studios, it has to appeal to at least two, preferably three of these audiences. However, keep in mind that this is made for public-TV - and they have repeatedly proven that mass appeal doesn't really seem to matter to them.

That aside, who knows, mabye they'll split the storylines according to the movies:
1st movie male German experiences;
2nd movie female German experiences;
3rd movie Jewish German experiences.
Though that would be pretty ballsy, as we can all imagine how the ratings will plummet accordingly for each successive movie.

DVX
05-15-2011, 09:11 AM
I liked the two biggest German productions of the last years: Stalingrad and The Fall. I hope this one could be like those.

Schuultz
05-15-2011, 09:49 AM
I liked the two biggest German productions of the last years: Stalingrad and The Fall. I hope this one could be like those.

Not a big fan of "Stalingrad" but Downfall was amazing.

flamethrowerguy
05-15-2011, 02:33 PM
If you read the article I think he actually made a point out of trying to go for 'authenticity' by not including a forced love story in the soldiers' stories. However, they do have the nurse and entertainer storylines for that, and I'd be shocked if some romance didn't creep in over the course of three movies.
I've read a while back that in Hollywood, there's a rule of thumb that there's four audiences: Old Men, Young Men, Old Women, Young Women. For a script to be accepted by any of the major studios, it has to appeal to at least two, preferably three of these audiences. However, keep in mind that this is made for public-TV - and they have repeatedly proven that mass appeal doesn't really seem to matter to them.

That aside, who knows, mabye they'll split the storylines according to the movies:
1st movie male German experiences;
2nd movie female German experiences;
3rd movie Jewish German experiences.
Though that would be pretty ballsy, as we can all imagine how the ratings will plummet accordingly for each successive movie.

See? I knew...without reading the entire article!

VonWeyer
05-17-2011, 07:14 AM
Can't wait to see this...it will be good to see things from a different perspective.
The love story means i get to watch it with my lady.

DVX
05-17-2011, 03:52 PM
Not a big fan of "Stalingrad"

Why if I may? :)