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Generation War 'Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter' (2013)

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"Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter" 2013

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It's called 'Generation war' in English and has stimulated controversy among European viewers.

The series tells in three 90-minute episodes the story of five German friends, aged around 20, on their different paths through Nazi Germany and World War II: As Wehrmacht soldiers on the Eastern Front, war nurse, aspiring singer, and Jewish tailor respectively. The narrative spans over five years starting in 1941 Berlin, when the friends meet up for a last time before embarking on their journeys, enthusiastically vowing to meet up again the following Christmas. The story's conclusion is set in a time shortly after the end of the war in 1945/46.

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This miniseries is now freely streamed with English subtitles.  A simple google search will produce it for you.

 

I watched only Wilhelm and Friedhelm's story as the other two stories come across as too far fetched to be real to me.

 

Overall, their story fulfills a cinematic gap in World War Two history:  The experience of invading Russia from the average front line soldier's perspective.  Their depiction is accurate to what is depicted in scholarly accounts, soldier's memoirs, and soldier's diaries.  This part of the miniseries is decidedly educational.

 

I recommend it with some caution.  My main complaint is that both Wilhelm and Friedhelm were re-done with cliched' post-war German idealism.  The vast majority of German soldiers in 1941-1943 did not think like them.  They wanted war, respected their war machine, and were part of the war machine.  It will probably be some time until German or American filmmakers ever make a German war movie where the protagonists are loyal and supportive of their institutional ambition and the crimes that they committed.  

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