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Rosenstrasse (2003)

Cast: Katja Riemann, Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader, more...
Director: Margarethe Von Trotta, Margarethe Von Trotta
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Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Germany, Netherlands
Running Time: 136 min.
Languages: German
Subtitles: English
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German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta directs the war drama Rosenstrasse, based on the plight of "mixed marriages" between Jewish men and non-Jewish women during the Holocaust. In contemporary New York, Jewish matriarch Ruth (Jutta Lampe) practices Orthodox mourning traditions for her late husband, to the dismay of her daughter Hannah (Maria Schrader). At the wake, Ruth's cousin Rachel (Carola Regnier) tells Hannah some family secrets that send curious Hannah over to Berlin. She searches out 90-year-old Lena Fischer (Doris Schade), who cared for Ruth during WWII. Flashbacks recall the events of 1943,when Jewish husbands were rounded up and kept in a house on a street called Rosenstrasse. Lena (played by Katja Riemann as a young woman) joins a group of other wives for a week-long protest, where she meets an abandoned seven-year-old named Ruth (played by Svea Lohde as a girl). Rosenstrasse was shown in competition at the 2003 Venice International Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

To Inter-Marry in Nazi Germany by talltale January 22, 2005 - 5:10 PM PST
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I keep insisting that I will never again see another Holocaust/Nazi movie. But then I do. In the case of the German film ROSENSTRASSE, I'm glad I chose to watch. Inter-marriage between Jews and Aryans pre- and during WWII has rarely been explored in film (the fine documentary "The Nazi Officer's Wife" is the only thing that comes to my mind), and that is the subject of this interesting movie that deals with a real event in Germany during the war, in which the Aryan wives of Jewish prisoners stood vigil for weeks, trying desperately to free their spouses.

The framework for the film spans modern day New York and Germany, as well as the 1940s time period, but this structure is not quite as interesting as the key situation, and the back-and-forth gets occasionally tiresome, I admit, due to the 2-1/4-hour running time. But this is more than made up for with fine performances and a resonant situation that makes one think, feel and question once again the whys and hows of that dreadful situation--and finally wonder, "Could this happen here?" (Sometimes I think that's the real purpose of any good Holocaust movie: reminding us so well that we'll make certain it never does.)

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.71)
17 Votes
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