In my oh so humble opinion, German director Max Farberbock made one of the only truly good lesbian movies: Aimee and Jaguar. (Sorry, Mango Kiss and Go Fish lovers.) So when I heard that he had a new film coming out, I got excited.
Unfortunately, the film doesn’t involve lesbians, but the main character is a woman and Mr. Farberbock is going back to Berlin in the 1940s, a world he captured so well in Aimee and Jaguar. While Aimee and Jaguar was set during the WWII, A Woman in Berlin takes place right after the war when the city is taken over by Russia’s Red Army.
The film is based on an anonymously written diary, that we now know was was written by journalist Marta Hillers. It detailed the terrors women faced at the hands of their Russian occupiers.
There is a lot of content out there about Berlin during the war, but there is very little out there about Berlin right after the war. Just recently, this has started to change with movies like The Reader, but for years, the horrors that the German people went through during their occupation failed to get recognized as it was overshadowed by the atrocities they committed with the Holocaust.
A Woman in Berlin exposes many of the horrible truths that were hidden for years. The Red Army viewed the women of Berlin as their personal punching bags and play toys. Women were repeatedly beaten and raped. And as the Russians were the occupiers, these women had zero recourse against them. The women of Germany were prisoners in their own country. For them, the war was just beginning.
So yeah, this is hardly a great date movie, but nonetheless, I think it sounds fascinating. Farberbock has a talent for taken unknown stories and worlds and bringing them to light in a visceral way. Rent Aimee and Jaguar for a date night (not a first date, though. And buy some tissues). Then, go out to see A Woman in Berlin on date, um, ten. I know I’ll be there.