Germany has for some time been known as a country with a rich history and heritage. Having faced many conflicts and turmoils, the country has been shaped greatly by the acts of individuals and the movements that have sprouted as a result. I can’t imagine what it was like to grow up in a divided Germany after World War II, with such palpable animosity. Thankfully German filmmakers and artists know this period all too well and are able to translate to the screen a period that has been etched into their skin
The Silent Revolution, from director Lars Kraume, is a fantastic example of the tensions of post-war Germany and how those emotions and principles can still affect us today. The Silent Revolution is based on a true story and follows a 6th grade class in Stalinstadt, East Germany, 1956. Emboldened by the struggles of Hungarian revolutionaries against the Soviet Union the students hold a 2-minute moment of silence during their class. The moment of silence ends up costing the students more than they could imagine as things take a downward turn when the class in investigated by The People’s Education Minister
The Silent Revolution is equal parts a coming of age story and a snapshot of Germany in a time of fracture. It highlights both the heartache of separation and the togetherness of friendship. The film follows Kurt (Tom Gramenz) and his best friend Theo (Leonard Scheicher) as they both come to terms with following their ideals which challenge the State and managing the interests of their families. The performances in this film is what make it stand out. With each character affected differently to the changing attitudes of Germany, the supporting cast all belt out memorable performances to emphasise each character’s conflicts.
It’s difficult to comprehend life in Germany before and during the times of the Berlin Wall for one who didn’t experience it. Yet with films like this I, and I hope many other viewers, can for a moment feel the emotions and stress of such a time
The Silent Revolution is showing as part of the German Film Festival at Palace Nova Cinemas and will screen again on 11th June.
For bookings and further information, check out the German Film Festival site here.