did-you-do-in-World-War-II, daddy?, THE ADVENTURES OF WERNER HOLT, directed by Joachim Kunert and co-
written by Kunert & Claus Küchenmeister (from the novel by Dieter Noll), proves a lengthy but fascinating and relatively entertaining tromp through German history of the late 30s and early-to-mid 40s.
That the film was made in and by the German Democratic Republic (known to us Americans for 41 years as that naughty, scary Communist state, East Germany) makes Werner Holt even more of a curio. Once the Berlin wall came down in 1989 and the "East" ceased to officially exist by the end of the following year, the two Germanys became one again. Over the ensuing years, the East German culture of those closed decades has become more apparent, as all sorts of goodies have arrived -- from the boffo dramedy Good-Bye Lenin, the rich and exciting escape drama The Tunnel and the Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Film The Lives of Others to an entire stash of East German film productions that have now seen the light of day in the USA.
|At nearly three hours, the movie is certainly long but seldom uninteresting. And the scene toward the end, when Werner and his small, bedraggled crew discover the results of an SS visit to a small local town, is riveting -- even without the usual visual gore that would accompany such a scene were the film to be made today. The cast is well chosen and delivers on its promise: Klaus-Peter Thiele, above, makes a fine, troubled Werner, and he is aided by Manfred Karge, Günter Junghans, Peter Reusse and the late Arno Wyzniewski.|
The film is available for sale by FRF or Amazon (wow-- FRF's price is cheaper than that of Amazon!), and for rental at Netflix.