Roberto Rossellini

Germany Year Zero

Germany Year Zero

The concluding chapter of Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy is the most devastating, a portrait of an obliterated Berlin, seen through the eyes of a twelve-year-old boy. Living in a bombed-out apartment building with his sick father and two older siblings, young Edmund is mostly left to wander unsupervised, getting ensnared in the black-market schemes of a group of teenagers and coming under the nefarious influence of a Nazi-sympathizing ex-teacher. Germany Year Zero is a daring, gut-wrenching look at the consequences of fascism, for society and the individual.

Film Info

  • Roberto Rossellini
  • Italy, Germany
  • 1948
  • 73 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • German
  • Spine #499

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by director Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • Italian-release opening credits and voice-over prologue
  • Roberto Rossellini, a 2001 documentary by Carlo Lizzani, assistant director on Germany Year Zero, tracing Rossellini’s career through archival footage and interviews with family members and collaborators, with tributes by filmmakers François Truffaut
  • Letters from the Front: Carlo Lizzani on “Germany Year Zero,” a discussion with Lizzani from the 1987 Tutto Rossellini conference
  • Interview from 2009 with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Interview from 2009 with Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (Padre padrone) in which they discuss the profound influence Rossellini’s films have had on them
  • Roberto and Roswitha, a 2009 illustrated essay by film scholar Thomas Meder on Rossellini’s relationship with his mistress Roswitha Schmidt

Available In

Collector's Set

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Blu-Ray Box Set

3 Discs

$79.96

Collector's Set

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$63.96

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Introduction by director Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • Italian-release opening credits and voice-over prologue
  • Roberto Rossellini, a 2001 documentary by Carlo Lizzani, assistant director on Germany Year Zero, tracing Rossellini’s career through archival footage and interviews with family members and collaborators, with tributes by filmmakers François Truffaut
  • Letters from the Front: Carlo Lizzani on “Germany Year Zero,” a discussion with Lizzani from the 1987 Tutto Rossellini conference
  • Interview from 2009 with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà
  • Interview from 2009 with Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (Padre padrone) in which they discuss the profound influence Rossellini’s films have had on them
  • Roberto and Roswitha, a 2009 illustrated essay by film scholar Thomas Meder on Rossellini’s relationship with his mistress Roswitha Schmidt

Germany Year Zero
Cast
Edmund Meschke
Edmund Koehler
Ernst Pittschau
His father
Ingetraud Hinze
Eva
Franz Krüger
Karl-Heinz
Erich Gühne
Henning, the teacher
Credits
Director
Roberto Rossellini
Produced by
Roberto Rossellini
Story and screenplay by
Roberto Rossellini
with the collaboration of
Max Colpet
with the collaboration of
Carlo Lizzani
Photographed by
Robert Juillard
Sets
Piero Filippone
Editors
Anne-Marie Findeisen
Editors
Eraldo Da Roma
Music by
Renzo Rossellini
Sound by
Kurt Doubrawsky
Assistant directors
Max Colpet
Assistant directors
Carlo Lizzani

From The Current

What Roberto Rossellini Taught the Taviani Brothers
What Roberto Rossellini Taught the Taviani Brothers

In this interview from our box-set edition of Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani recount their experience discovering these masterful depictions of World War II.

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Jul 12, 2017
From the Rossellini Archives
From the Rossellini Archives

With his mix of documentary-like immediacy and profound moral inquiry, Roberto Rossellini became a pioneer of Italian neorealism, a movement that transformed the way filmmakers captured the fabric of everyday life and and grappled with the most urgen…

On Film / Short Takes
May 8, 2017
John Bailey’s Top 10

About selecting his favorites from the collection, world-class cinematographer John Bailey (Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters) says, “One of the greatest challenges in trying to compile a list like this is to separate the objectively ‘great’ fil


May 19, 2011
The Trilogy According
to John Bailey

We’ve drawn your attention before to award-winning DP John Bailey’s informative, entertaining blog on the American Society of Cinematographers website, in particular his in-depth introduction to the previously unheralded “cinematographer of th…


Jun 7, 2010
Germany Year Zero:
The Humanity of the Defeated

Unlike the more aesthetically and intellectually conceived French New Wave, Italian neorealism was above all an ethical initiative—a way of saying that people were important, occasioned by a war that made many of them voiceless, faceless, and namel…

By Jonathan Rosenbaum


Jan 26, 2010

Explore

Roberto Rossellini

Writer, Producer, Director

A founder of Italian neorealism, Roberto Rossellini brought to filmmaking a documentary-like authenticity and a philosophical stringency. After making films under Mussolini’s fascist regime early in his career, Rossellini broke out with Rome Open City, a shattering and vivid chronicle of the Nazi occupation of Italy’s capital, followed by Paisan and Germany Year Zero, which round out his “war trilogy.” Rossellini’s adulterous affair with Ingrid Bergman led to the biggest controversy of his career (they were both condemned by the United States Senate) but also to another trilogy—Stromboli, Europa ’51, and Voyage to Italy, all starring Bergman and all about spiritual crises; they were dismissed at the time of their release but are widely praised now. Through the 1950s, Rossellini experimented with different forms, offering an ascetic religious film (The Flowers of St. Francis), a documentary about India (India), and a wartime melodrama that was one of his biggest hits (Il Generale Della Rovere). In the final phase of his career, after calling a news conference and announcing, “Cinema is dead,” Rossellini turned to historical television dramas about major subjects and figures (Louis XIV, Blaise Pascal, Descartes, the Medicis), made with a rational, almost scientific approach. As always, he yearned to show life’s minutiae unadorned, bare and pure. Echoes of Rossellini’s approach to filmmaking are still felt in movements around the world, from China to Iran to South America to the United States. It’s fair to say modern cinema wouldn’t exist as we know it without him.