Reality is often more harrowing than any post-apocalyptic fantasy you can dream up. As a depiction of hell on earth (the only hell there is), there is few films that capture the horror of a society destroyed. When life is degraded to this level, our most animalistic tendencies will shine through.
There's not enough time or strength in the scenes, there's no emotion on Rossellinni's camera, and most of the time its the music that transmits the dramatic force. The only thing that really works in this movie is the relation of the characters with the space: the mass destruction of Berlin is really impressive, but it doesn't prevent the film from being a complete bore with a predictable and over the top finale.
Now I see. Now I see what Andre Bazin was talking about. I do not just understand. I feel it in my guts. How fresh images for the thought. How can this film speak to me as from yesterday? What has happened to a world where the sight of a handle instantly give a boy associations to a weapon, a gun? These are questions I can't answer. But I can keep them like a flame, as a living image, in my thought.
pretty incredible. edmund, a personification of post-war germany's struggling dichotomy in identity, simultaneously a product of nazi germany and their loss, reflects a society's inability to reconcile its sordid past and its uncertain future. heartbreaking to witness this allegory through the haunting travels of a child in the backdrop of a destroyed berlin to punctuate this turmoil.
It's been said that neorealism didn't have export value beyond it's specific geographical and temporal context. This movie is supposedly a failure which illustrates this. To me however it's my favorite Rosselini movie...
Incredibly bleak and showcases the legacy of the Nazis to Germany. Rossellini offers a controversially sympathetic view towards those brainwashed by Hitler to commit evil deeds and fight for an unworthy cause. The ending is heartbreakingly sad.