Alone in Berlin and 13 Minutes, both dramas centered upon characters living in WWII Germany, have new trailers available for their upcoming US releases. Alone in Berlin, which tells the story of real-life Nazi-protestors Otto and Elise Hampel, received mixed reviews at last year’s Berlin Film Festival. Although the story of Hampel, named Quangel in the film, is both amazing and inspiring, critics have come down hard on director Vincent Perez having the actors speak in English, but use German accents and because of overwhelmingly amateur and obviously staged set and camera work. The ending is also reportedly horrible and undeserving of such a powerful story. Had the project been in the hands of a more experienced, or dedicated filmmaker, it might have really done well, especially considering the material.
Otto Hampel and his wife Elise’s son was killed by Nazi soldiers at the beginning of the war. This prompted Otto to actively, though secretly protest the Nazi regime by leaving post cards around the city with messages like, “Hitler is a liar.” It was an endeavor that would have cost them their lives had they been caught. Although the reviews have not been great, the trailer does look intriguing: the main plot seems to focus on Otto and Elise, portrayed by acclaimed actors Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson, evading Nazi investigators as they spread their messages, so maybe general movie-goers will actually enjoy it.
13 Minutes premiered at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival and is finally receiving a US release from Sony Pictures. Unlike Alone in Berlin, 13 Minutes earned a much better reception from critics. It tells the story of real-life German citizen Georg Elser, a carpenter who in 1939, assembled a bomb that was meant to kill Hitler at the Nazi Convention in Munich. Hitler, however, left the event prematurely and the bomb went off 13 minutes (hence the title) too late. Elser is quickly arrested and, as he is confined in prison, recounts the events leading up to his courageous attempt and his personal reasons for opposing Hitler and his regime. The film is directed by acclaimed director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall, The Experiment) and stars German actors Christian Friedel and Katharina Schüttler in the roles of Elser and his love Elsa. Unlike Alone in Berlin, the actors speak all German captioned with English subtitles, and the material explores the depths that the Nazi party went to in order to maintain control over the civilian populace during WWII. Both Alone in Berlin and 13 Minutes look like they might be worth seeing, although 13 Minutes definitely seems the much more impressive of the two, but I’ll leave that up to you. 13 Minutes is set for release this March. Enjoy the trailers!