Watchable 2 part 3 hour miniseries about Germans fleeing west Poland/east prussia in 1944/5
- March of Millions review by PV
I really enjoyed this, but no idea why 2 x 90 minute dramas of a Tv series cannot be on one DVD.
From the producers of the excellent German language ROMMEL and the superior German Valkyrie movie (watch if you only know the inferior Tom Hanks one) and from cast members of Berlin Babylon, Deutschland 83, and the superb 2013 TV miniseries Generation War.
Arguably part one is stronger. But it is hard to dramatise refugees fleeing - the German language original title means THE FLIGHT.
Let down a bit maybe by a focus on the aristocratic female main character's love life interest - but possibly as it was written by a woman, this is of more interest to women, as it's all a bit Mills and Boon. I felt the film sagged at those points. And the focus on the aristocrats - 2 families - is deliberate. Mills and Boon romances often do the same as does period drama (Bridgerton etc)
This is set in what is referred to as East Prussia in 1944-5. Yet it was Prussia, Then when Prussia was no more it became the west of Poland - and that is why Hitler invaded Poland. Central Europe is full of changing borders and populations and always has been. There were ethnic Germans in that area and northern Bohemia too - the Sudetenland and many more areas. Many central/eastern European countries have these ethnic populations who speak other languages - like ethnic Russians in the east of Moldova, bordering western Ukraine. A real headache and cause of wars really.
SO what can happen is populations just have to leave - as the exchange between Greece and Turkey of ethnic populations in 1923 at Smyrna.
Here the Soviets winning the war from the east, so push into 'East Prussia', reminds me of the end of Generation War (Classic drama, 5 stars)
Some great scenes and characters - the loyal Nazi teenager Fritz and the forced labourers, Polish, Russian, French.
There is an old black and white Russian film about Napoleon's invasion where the Russians fire cannon at the ice on a lake into which the doomed attacking soldiers fall - and that has influenced all such scenes in later films, one is in this mini-series.
This film shows both German and Soviet brutality too. The war scenes are impressive if horrific.
The subtitles are often dodgy, with the weirdest translation of SILENT NIGHT I have ever seen, about a baby with curly hair. NO idea where that came from. Not the usual English lyric.
So altogether a good watch, but a tad too sickly sweet romantic soppy for me, 4 stars.
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