Anonyma: A Woman in Berlin (NC)

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The Independent Culture

Based upon the diary of an anonymous Berlin woman, this dramatises the inglorious and harrowing story of what happened when the Red Army liberated Berlin in the last days of the Second World War.

For many, the horror of a long war was by no means over, because a virtual epidemic of savagery broke out as Soviet troops, brutalised by enemy atrocities, raped the native womenfolk and got away with it. "How do we go on living?" someone asks. One woman (Nina Hoss), a once-committed Nazi journalist, finds a way, attaching herself to a Soviet major (Yevgeni Sidikhin) who will protect her from the casual rape at large in her neighbourhood; by degrees, a relationship forged out of pragmatism blooms into affection. It's a horrifying chapter of history, made bearable by the director Max Färberböck's visual restraint and by Nina Hoss in the title role, playing a woman holding on to her sanity by strength of will and necessary cunning.