If there is a more depressing film I have yet to find it. Young Edmund and his family live in the bombed out ruins of post-war Germany. Cramped into one house with four other families, without electricity or food they struggle to survive. His mother did not survive the war, his father is slowly dying, and his brother is in hiding to escape the Russian camps. Since Edmund is too young to legally work, they all depend on his older sister to survive. Edmund is troubled by the burden he puts on his sister, trying to be the man his brother does not have the guts to be and thus he is out looking for ways to make money. A former teacher (and possible paedophile) helps him make some quick cash by selling Nazi memorabilia to American soldiers. The money is not enough and Edmund’s father is getting worse. Following a conversation with his former teacher, Edmund tries to do the right thing and out of love, poisons his father to set him free.
The images of the real life landscapes are extremely powerful, and young Edmund Moeschke gives one of the best performances I have seen from a child actor (the rest of the cast and dialogues are a bit stiff at parts) an honest and shocking portrayal of the best and worst of humanity. (5/5)