Movies in German
German Movie Guide
German Cinema History - German Films on DVD
Filme aus Deutschland, Österreich
und der Schweiz
On this page you'll find all of our German movie pages and information. Locate links to German films on DVD, current German movies running in German Europe, classic German films, reviews, film festivals, and information about German film people and the German-Hollywood connection. On the right is a partial list of our main German movie resources. But first...
A Little Cinema History
Germany was one of the pioneering countries in the history of motion pictures. Starting with the earliest days of filmmaking, Germany was Hollywood's biggest worldwide competitor. It was only after two world wars and the advent of sound that Babelsberg (near Berlin) and Geiselgasteig (Munich), Germany's two "Hollywoods," began to take a backseat to America's Hollywood.
Particularly in the classic silent era of the 1920s, German films enjoyed worldwide recognition and respect. But since World War II, Germany has often been overshadowed by French, Italian and Japanese cinema. There has been only one period since the war when German films and filmmakers gained increased awareness both within and outside of Germany. The cinematic "New German Wave" (Neue Deutsche Welle) made an impact in the 1970s and '80s, with directors such as Fassbinder, Herzog and Wenders. But even in Germany, very few of the Welle films were box-office hits. Today Fassbinder is dead. Herzog and Wenders still turn out an occasional film, but if German cinema has any real future now, it belongs to a new generation of filmmakers with names like Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Nettelbeck (Bella Martha).
Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others, 2006)
This award-winning German film is now on
DVD (Region 2, PAL, Germany).
German Films Unpopular in Germany!
Sadly, most Germans hate to go to German movies. It's the same in neighboring Austria and German Switzerland. A glance at a list of the top movies showing each week in Germany reveals the 80-to-90-percent dominance of Hollywood films. Some weeks, there is not a single German film in the top ten. Only now and then does a German film come along that breaks this rule, and then it is often a movie like the German western comedy Der Schuh des Manitu (2001), which broke box-office records all across Germany, but had little chance of appealing to most foreign markets. German directors like Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot, Air Force One) and Roland Emmerich (Enemy Mine, Independence Day), who first made it big in their homeland, were soon working full-time in Hollywood. Even young Franka Potente has already made several Hollywood films, including Blow and The Bourne Identity, since her success in Run Lola Run.
German Film Festivals
In fact, it is sometimes easier to view German movies at film festivals in places like London, Hong Kong, Paris, Montreal, Totonto, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. (See our Film Festivals page.) Nevertheless, you'll find some films listed in our German Movie Guide that will appeal to you and help your German. Some are also available on DVD or video. Also see the many links in the box near the top of this page.
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MORE > The Best German Films for German-Learners