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Movies in German

Films and DVDs: 2000-2004

Filme aus Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz

Das Wunder von Bern DVD
Das Wunder von Bern (2003)
This German film is available
on DVD (Region 2, PAL).
Read my review.

You are here:
German Movies > 2005-06 > 2000-2004 > 1997-99 > Index

Also see: Reviews of German Movies and German DVDs and Videos (Top Picks)

This page is part of our guide to German-language films from 1997 to now, plus German film classics from earlier years. Also see: Best German Films for German-Learners, German Movie Index, German Movies on DVD, and German Movies: Introduction.

German-Language Films on DVD and Video

Films in German: 2000-2004
Films listed alphabetically for each year
Years are for original release in home market

Alphabetical Index of German films

Abbreviations Used:
A Austria, CH Switzerland, D Germany
NTSC U.S. TV/video standard
PAL German TV/video standard

NOTE: Not all films listed, even older ones, are available on DVD/video. German DVDs are Region Code 2/PAL and will not play on a normal North American Region Code 1 DVD player. For more about playing German DVDs in North America, see our DVD Guide.

To buy the German (PAL, Region 2) versions of many of the films below, see the German-Hollywood DVD Store.

2004 Films and DVDs

Agnes DVD
Agnes und seine Brüder (2004) stars
Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run).

On DVD (Region 1 or 2)

Agnes und seine Brüder (D, Agnes and His Brothers)
DVD: Compare Prices (Region 1, US NTSC)
"Freud filtered through Fassbinder" is one critic's comment about this German film about Agnes, a transsexual, his two brothers and an eccentric father. Sex addict Hans-Jörg (Moritz Bleibtreu, Lola rennt, Munich) can't stop spying on women, but has little real success with them. His father, Werner, a successful politician, has a bored wife and a weird family. And that's just the start of this bizarre tale.

- See Der Untergang below.

Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei (D, The Edukators)
DVD: Compare Prices (Region 1, US NTSC)
DVD: Region 2, PAL DVD from the German-Hollywood DVD Store
Director: Hans Weingartner. The Edukators (English title) stars Daniel Brühl (Good-Bye Lenin and Vaya con Dios), Julia Jentsch (Sophie Scholl) and Stipe Erceg in a tale of two young men who invade homes — not to steal, but to send a message. But their break-in for girlfriend Jule (Jentsch) doesn't go as planned and turns into a kidnapping. See the review by Jürgen Fauth (World Film Guide).

Heimat 3 - Chronik einer Zeitenwende (D)
Director Edgar Reitz has produced a new third part of what is now his Heimat trilogy, an award-winning film/TV series that chronicles several generations of a German family. (NOTE: The Heimat Trilogy is now available on Region 1 DVD!) Heimat 3 (six episodes) is not just a sequel to the first two parts, but is described as "a narrative inventory of the century in its final decade," including the opening of the Berlin Wall. Heimat first appeared in 1984 and was highly praised. The second part (Die zweite Heimat) came out in the early 1990s. Heimat 3: Chronik einer Zeitenwende was filmed at a variety of locations in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. The trilogy's popularity stems in part from its collective remembrances of recent German history and events that most Germans have experienced themselves in some way. Cast: Salome Kammer, Henry Arnold, Michael Keusch, Matthias Kniesbeck. - Reitz has also published a book version of all three films: "Die Heimat Trilogie" (Heyne, Munich; 592 Seiten; 128 Euro)

NOTE: All three segments of the Heimat trilogy are now on DVD and available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store
WEB > Heimat 3 - Film Site (German)

Die Nibelungen - Der Fluch des Drachen (D TV, 2004, Ring of the Nibelungs)
Director: Uli Edel. This German made-for-TV movie is based on the classic Germanic Nibelungenlied legend (think Wagnerian opera and the "Ring" cycle). First filmed in the silent era by Fritz Lang, this new film version stars the German Benno Fürmann as Siegfried, Norwegian-American Kristanna Loken as Brunnhild, and American Alicia Witt (Vanilla Sky) as Kriemhild. WEB > Ring of the Nibelungs - IMDb

DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Rosenstraße (D, US DVD release 2005)
Director: Margarethe von Trotta. This German drama staring Katja Riemann tells the true story of a 1943 Berlin uprising against the Nazis in 1943. The "Rosenstraße" title refers to the Berlin street where a Jewish detention center was located. A group of non-Jewish women who had Jewish husbands staged a desperate rebellion in front of the detention center that held their loved ones. - This film (PG-13) played in L.A., New York City, and a few other US cities. It is available on Region 1 DVD. You can read a full review by Marcy Dermansky, one of About's two World Film Guides. WEB > Official Site (USA)

(T)Raumschiff Surprise (D)
Director: Michael Herbig. This German comedy hit is based on a series of Star Trek parodies done on German TV by the comedy team of Michael "Bully" Herbig, Christian Tranitz, and Rick Kavanian. German star Til Schweiger joins the cast for the movie version. (Their "Bullyparade" was a sort of German "Saturday Night Live" television hit.) The 20 "(T)Raumschiff" skits have now been turned into a full-length feature film. This movie also has the honor of being the first German film to be pirated within days of its theater release (22 July 2004). From the makers of Der Schuh des Manitu (2001). WEB > Official Film Site (German)

DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

(D, Downfall)
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel. Swiss actor Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) is Hitler in his final days in Berlin. This German film on a very touchy German subject caused quite a stir in its homeland. The film, with an all-star German cast, is based on the non-fiction bestseller Der Untergang by Joachim Fest and the memoirs of Hitler's secretary, Traudl Junge (Blind Spot). Opened Sept. 16, 2004 in Germany. A subtitled US release had a brief run in 2005. Now available on Region 1 DVD (as Downfall).

Daniel Bruehl in 'Good Bye Lenin!'
The German tragicomedy Good Bye Lenin! (2003) was
directed by Wolfgang Becker and stars Daniel Brühl
as a young man who must recreate the DDR. > More

2003 Films and DVDs

Das Wunder von Bern (D)
Director: Wolfgang Becker. The "miracle of Bern" refers to Germany's win over Hungary during the world championship soccer games of 1954. The surprise win over favored Hungary meant far more than a mere soccer victory for a Germany that was still recovering from the psychological and physical damage wrought by a world war, and trying to regain its self-esteem. Read my full review of this film/DVD.

Good Bye Lenin! (D)
Director: Wolfgang Becker. This film had its debut at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival in February and had a good run in German and even UK cinemas. It tells the story of a son whose mother awakes from a coma and his desperate efforts to protect her weakened heart from the shock of the victory of capitalism and the fact that she slept through the fall of the Wall. Most critics and audiences seemed to like it. - DVD/E: Compare Prices for this DVD. See our full review.

Das fliegende Klassenzimmer (D)
Director: Tomy Wigand. This update of Erich Kästner's classic "Flying Classroom" story is the third film version. Filmed in Leipzig and Munich, the newest movie was released in January 2003. Earlier German versions appeared in 1954 and 1973.

2002 Films and DVDs

Bibi Blocksberg (D)
Director: Hermine Huntgeburth. Released in early October, this Kinderfilm was a big hit with audiences. The stories about a young witch became popular on audio cassettes and have now been translated to the screen. Stars the well known German actress Katja Riemann with the young newcomer Sidonie von Krosigk as Bibi.

Bungalow (D)
Director: Ulrich Köhler. Paul (Lennie Baumeister) deserts from the German army on the spur of the moment and heads home to his parents' bungalow. His attempts to mull over his future are disrupted by the arrival of his brother Max and his Danish girlfriend - and the military police.

Im toten Winkel: Hitlers Sekretärin (A)
Director: André Heller. English title: BLIND SPOT: HITLER'S SECRETARY. An unadorned but revealing documentary interview with Traudl Junge, once Hitler's secretary. On DVD in Germany and the U.S. See our full review.

Nackt (D)
Director: Doris Dörrie. This relationship film by the well-known director Dörrie met with mixed reviews. Three couples meet for dinner and bare all — including their souls. Does "Naked" measure up to her earlier comedies (Männer)? See our full review. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Vaya con Dios (D)
Director: Zoltan Spirendelli. Three monks and a girl in a funny romantic road movie? Well, it's a little more complicated than that. See our full review.

Also see > Best German Films for German-Learners

German Movie Reviews
Full reviews of feature films and DVDs for German by your Guide.

See information about
this 2001 film below.

2001 Films and DVDs

Bellaria - Solange wir leben! (A, D)
Director: Douglas Wolfsperger. English title: BELLARIA - AS LONG AS WE LIVE! "There is a small, inconspicuous cinema [named the Bellaria] in a small side-street in Vienna that seems to have stood still with time. A group of old Ufa film fans meet there on a regular basis, where for a few Schilling they are whisked back to their youth... The documentary is a discovery trip to a place with morbid charm and portrays the colorful life stories of its comical and eccentric regular guests. Little by little, the film uncovers their true desires: to stop the wheel of time for just a few moments..." - from German Cinema. Featured at the 2003 'Berlin & Beyond' Film Festival in San Francisco in January. - See our full review.

Bella Martha (D, aka "Fünf Sterne")
Director: Sandra Nettelbeck. This bittersweet film (English title: "Mostly Martha") linking food and love a la Chocolat or Babette's Feast was a sleeper hit in Germany and has won several foreign film awards. Set in a ritzy French restaurant in Hamburg, Nettelbeck's first film has been appearing in cinemas around the globe. It tells the story of Martha (Martina Gedeck), whose entire life revolves around cooking. But her life gets turned upside down by events inside and outside the restaurant where she is head chef. - WEB: QuickTime Trailer of "Mostly Martha" from Paramount Classics; Bella Martha (official German site); Mostly Martha (official Paramount site); Review: Mostly Martha from About's World Film Guide Marcy Dermansky. Unlike most critics, she doesn't like "Martha"!
DVD/E: "Mostly Martha" - Compare Prices

Black Box BRD (D, TV)
Director: Andres Veiel. A film about the true story of Wolfgang Grams and Alfred Herrhausen, who only had one thing in common: they were both killed by the RAF violence in the Federal Republic of Germany (BRD) in the 1970s and '80s. At that time the country was polarized by a power struggle between the German state and the "Red Army Faction." - WEB: Black Box BRD (official site)

Emil und die Detektive (D)
Director: Franziska Buch. English title: Emil and the Detectives. Erich Kästner's children's stories have been the source of many movies — in Germany, England and Hollywood. (The newest: Das fliegende Klassenzimmer.) This German screen update of a Kästner story first filmed in 1931 (and by Disney in 1964) tells the story of a boy who joins with newfound friends to get his revenge on the bad guy who picked his pocket during a train trip to the big city (Berlin). See our full review. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Das Experiment (D)
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel. Based on the Stanford Prison Experiment, in which normal people are put in a prison environment for two weeks to see just what will happen. Moritz Bleibtreu ("Lola rennt") plays one of the actors playing a prisoner and incites sadistic violence between guards and prisoners. - WEB: Das Experiment (official German site, with trailers); The Experiment (official U.S. site, with trailers).

Der Felsen (D)
Director: Dominik Graf. English title: A MAP OF THE HEART. A thriller drama narrated by an unseen woman (Jeanette Hain). Stars Antonio Wannek and Karoline Eichhorn (as Katrin). Shot in a rather gritty-looking video format.

Halbe Treppe (D)
English title: Grill Point. Director: Andreas Dresen. The tale of two friendly couples in the East German town of Frankfurt/Oder. They're set in their ways, with nowhere to go. Radio host Chris and his second wife Katrin don't have much to say to each other anymore. Uwe, his friend, slaves away day and night at work, but forgets his wife and kids. Small wonder that a bit of hanky panky soon leads to some surprises. See our full review. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Herz im Kopf (D)
Director: Michael Gutmann. English title: HEART OVER HEAD. Two young people, the German Jakob (Tom Schilling) and the Polish au pair Wanda (Alicja Bachleda-Curus), deal with obstacles to their budding love in a Frankfurt suburb.

Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song (D)
Director: J. David Riva. This documentary, directed by Dietrich's grandson, focuses on her activities during the Second World War up to her 1960 return to Germany. In English and German, the 100-minute film was sponsored by the Filmboard Brandenburg Berlin. - DVD/E: Compare prices - Dietrich DVD

Mostly Martha (D) - See "Bella Martha" above.

Nirgendwo in Afrika (D)
Director: Caroline Link. This German film, which won an Oscar for best foreign language film, takes place in Kenya. A German-Jewish family seeks refuge from the Nazis "nowhere in Africa" and faces cultural and marital difficulties. Actually, it's a better movie than it sounds! See our full review.

Das Sams (D)
English title: The Slurb. Director: Ben Verbong. A children's film about a small, weird red-headed creature who pops up in the life of several people and brings about a few changes in the process. Not a highly rated film, either by critics or audiences.

Der Schuh des Manitu (D)
Director: Michael Herbig. The biggest German box-office hit since "Lola rennt"! But the film's humor doesn't really translate very well. See our closer look at this German comedy western: Der Schuh des Manitu. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Was tun, wenn's brennt (D)
Director: Gregor Schnitzler. Til Schweiger stars in this film that revisits Germany's turbulent 1980s. Thirteen years have passed since six Germans were involved in Demos (street demonstrations) and Hausbesitzung (apartment house sit-ins). They long ago abandoned their radical ways, but when a long-forgotten bomb they had left in a Berlin villa explodes, their lives are about to get very complicated. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Viktor Vogel - Commercial Man (D)
A German satiric comedy about a fast-talking would-be German ad man and the world of advertising. Directed by Lars Kraume. English title: Advertising Rules. Stars Alexander Scheer, Götz George, and Chulpan Khamatova.

Wie Feuer und Flamme (D)
English title: Never Mind the Wall. Director: Connie Walther. Love conquers the Berlin Wall in 1982. Nele, 17, was born in West Berlin. Captain is an East Berliner. But love isn't easy in a divided city. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

2000 Films and DVDs

alaska.de (D)
Director: Esther Gronenborn. Another dreary German film about the struggles of German suburban youth. It all starts when 16-year-old Sabine's mother sends her off to live with her father in an East Berlin suburb. After a stabbing death, things go from dreary to worse. A well-acted, award-winning work that demonstrates all too well why Germans hate German movies. But there are people who actually like this sort of thing! If you're one of them, get the German DVD... - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Anatomie (D)
Not for the squeamish, this German horror flick stars Franka Potente of "Run Lola Run" fame. German with English subtitles.

England! (D)
Director: Achim von Borries. Valeri is dying of radiation sickness. He is one of many young Russian soldiers who were ordered to help out in Chernobyl -- without adequate protection. Faced with his death sentence, Valeri decides to live out his dream while he still can. All he wants to do is go to England. But as a Russian whose best pal is living in Germany (and also faced with death by radiation), that is easier said than done. Valeri leaves Kiev for Germany by bus to find his pal Victor. When he learns that Victor has committed suicide, the story takes an unexpected turn.

Frau2 sucht Happy End (D)
Director: Edward Berger. This German "You've Got Mail" is a love story about two lost souls in Berlin who get together via e-mail. Mai works the phones for a TV shopping channel; Gregor is a radio announcer. It all starts when Mai has an auto accident on a rainy night in Berlin. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Freunde (D)
Director: Martin Eigler. Nils is a Berlin narc who suddenly finds he must go undercover to investigate old friends he hasn't seen for years. Some critics called this a clever mix of psychodrama and detective story. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Gripsholm (D)
Director: Xavier Koller. A romanticized biopic based on the life of the German writer Kurt Tucholsky, who left Nazi Germany for exile in Sweden in 1932. Ulrich Noethen ("Comedian Harmonists," "Das fliegende Klassenzimmer") plays Kurt Tucholsky, Heike Makatsch his Prinzessin Lydia. The title and much of the story are taken from Tucholsky's novel Schloss Gripsholm. The filmmakers create a true reflection of the 1930s through authentic costumes, props, and locations. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)


LiebesLuder (D)
Director: Detlev W. Buck. English title: Bundle of Joy. Black humor about a blackmailing femme fatale from the big city who tries to take advantage of four small-town guys by claiming she may be pregnant by one of them. But her attempted extortion of the married "country bumpkins" turns out to be less easy than she thought. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Marlene (D)
Director: Joseph Vilsmaier. Katja Flint plays the famous Dietrich in this German biopic. Didn't do very well at the box office or with critics. Vilsmaier was generally vilified for betraying the Dietrich legend (i.e., ignoring the true story) and turning out the kind of German film that gives German films a bad name! You'd be better off watching David Riva's 2001 documentary about his grandmother Marlene (above) or the 1986 "Marlene" documentary by Maximilian Schell.

Die Stille nach dem Schuss (D)
Director: Volker Schlöndorff. English title: The Legend of Rita. German terrorism in the 1970s. Rita Vogt gets mixed up with a terrorist group and takes refuge in East Germany. Schlöndorff's film deals with the touchy German-German question of West German terrorists in the 1970s and the support they found in East Germany. - DVD/D: The German DVD (PAL, Region 2) is available from the German-Hollywood DVD Store (Web link)

Das weiße Rauschen (D)
Director: Hans Weingartner. English title: The White Roar (should be "White Noise"). Lukas (Daniel Brühl) falls deeper and deeper into schizophrenia. Weingartner tries to counter the common stereotypes of this acute mental illness as we watch a "normal" person suffer the symptoms of a disease that can only be controlled by drugs, but for which there is no real cure.

MORE > German Movie Guide 1997-1999
BACK > 2005-2006 movies and DVDs

INDEX > Full Movie Index - Titles listed alphabetically
BACK > German Movies: Introduction

German Movie Reviews
Full reviews of feature films and DVDs for German by your Guide.

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