Unsere Mutter, Unsere Vater

I guess I am bit picky when it comes to the war movies, so there is ony handful of those I really believe are really worth watching. With the exceptions of well-known two TV series by HBO, this genre seemed to be out of favour with film producers in the past years.

No wonder I was then bit surprised when I have learned about the new TV series (again) which perhaps could be coming to the screens in short time dealing with the topic of WWII. The surprising part is the origin of this new series – it is made in Germany. In the country which sometimes still struggles to come to terms with its past, this new series has been highly praised. It has been dubbed to be the German Band of Brothers, though its theme is different from the HBO’s series.

Unsere Mutter, Unsere Vater is a three-part series (approximately 90 minutes each part), which tells story of five young Germans from the beginning of the war till the end. Two of them are soldiers in the Wehrmacht and lives of the rest are of course unavoidably impacted by the war. The series is not a war movie, though there are some quite good combat scenes, the focus is however on retelling fate of the people during the wartime.

The series brings few new things to the genre – primarily new view of the German soldier, which in most movies is just the typical nondescript “bad guy” on the other side. It gives different faces to individual Germans, either in the Army or outside of it and shows their experiences and views of the war.

Being different, the series unavoidably already attracted criticism. Poland is attempting to stop the distribution due to the Poles partisans being presented in the series as a being antisemitic, which is not untrue, but was not typical. Producers are also being accused of portraying Germans in the light of “Nazis were the others…”

Regardless of these points, I believe the series is worth watching. There is a trailer on youtube and I was able to find the full three parts there – though in German with Russian subtitles – with my remaining knowledge of both languages I was so-so able to get what was going on. For anybody interested in English version may need to wait till the series gets into regular distribution.

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