Like All Quiet on the Western Front (which I love as well!), but less sentimental, and in a lot of ways more brutal. I feel like I got to know the boys, so caring about their fate made everything all the more hardhitting. Excellent cinematography and amazing performances. The glee of a successful shot, and the desperation and fear when you realize you're in hell. An absolute gem, and from an often neglected POV.
A 2 part film- 1. introducing us to 7 school boys hopelessly allured to the war by the glamour of fighting for the Fatherland and 2. a brutal close-up of their unified realiziation of the terrors the battlefront really had to offer. It's a beautifully horrific anti-war film unlike any other for its focus on fresh meat, Hitler youth. Powerfully shot, intensely acted, an important film from a neglected POV.
This movie was shown in german schools as part of history lesson. I recall speechless classmates and crying ones. It is a 1959 production; no visual effects, no overstimulation, no material battle (no mobile phones). You will see excellent acting performances; on highest levels. The movie slowly, slowly creeps under your skin. It attempts to make you understand the incomprehensible. Masterpiece of Bernhard Wicki.