Rosenstrasse

on July 30, 2004 by Kevin Courrier
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Margarethe von Trotta, the director of "Marianne and Julianne" and "Rosa Luxemburg," has always had a deep affinity for political subjects and the role women play in history. In "Rosenstrasse," she tackles a little-known historical event concerning German Jews who were married to Aryan woman during the Nazi regime. In winter 1943, these men were taken to a detention center on the Rosenstrasse in Berlin. Over the course of a couple of weeks, their wives confronted the SS--and Third Reich policy--to save their husbands.

While the subject matter is compelling and powerful, von Trotta's approach is uninspired and terribly sentimental. Rather than clearly outlining and dramatizing how the views of Third Reich policy were changed by these women, von Trotta opts for melodrama instead. She sets the story in modern times, using flashbacks as a way to invoke a mother/daughter reconciliation. Instead of creating a powerful and moving political drama, "Rosenstrasse" takes the safer, more familiar route. Starring Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader and Jurgen Vogel. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta. Written by Margarethe von Trotta and Pamela Katz. Produced by Richard Schops, Henrik Meyer and Markus Zimmer. An IDP release. Drama. German- and English-language; subtitled. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some violence and brief drug content. Running time: 136 min

Tags: tarring Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader and Jurgen Vogel. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta. Written by Margarethe von Trotta and Pamela Katz, Produced by Richard Schops, Henrik Meyer, Markus Zimmer, IDP, Drama
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