Alone in Berlin
Director: Vincent Perez
Cast: Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl, Brendan Gleeson, Mikael Persbrandt, Katharina Schüttler
Country of Origin: France-Germany 2016 103 mins. (12A)
Released by Trafalgar Releasing
Eva (Katrin Pollitt), the local postmistress delivers a telegram to Otto (Brendan Gleesan) and Anna Quangel (Emma Thompson) in Berlin in 1940. Their only son has been killed in France. This heart breaking news leads Otto, a manager in a coffin factory and Anna, a reluctant member of the Nazi Women's League to embark on a low key resistance campaign against the Nazi war machine. They've nothing to lose, Otto and Anna will write and distribute anti-Nazi postcards as an act of defiance against the brutal Nazi war machine and place them in public places - 'Mother, the Fuhrer has murdered my son, he will murder yours' ... ' Hitler's shadow hangs over the country like the devil's.'
This small act of resistance rattles the authorities and police inspector Escherich (Daniel Bruhl), tasked with tracking down the source, becomes increasingly manic as pressure mounts and the elusive couple remain one step ahead of him.
Adapted from Hans Fallada's 1947 novel 'Everyman Dies Alone,' which was inspired by Otto and Elise Hampel's resistance to the Nazi regime and translated into English in 2009, resistance to the Nazi regime is far from easy. Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson give subtle, restrained performances, two individuals trapped in a marriage of silence and misery, filled with rage and grief. Conscious that arrest is inevitable, the need to resist is overwhelming - Otto resists joining the Nazi Party and they offer shelter to Frau Rosenthal (Monique Chaurnette), an elderly Jewish lady in their apartment block.
If only the fake German accents and English dialogue weren't there!!