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Edelweiss Pirates [DVD]

Jan Decleir , Jochen Nickel    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Jan Decleir, Jochen Nickel, Ivan Stebunov, Bela B. Felsenheimer
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Elephant Video Ltd.
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Jun 2007
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,456 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

WWII film concerning the German youth culture movement that rose in direct opposition to the Hitler Youth movement of the same era. Having avoided conscription into the Hitler Youth or deserted from it, a legion of young people between the ages of 14-18 were nonetheless attracted to the kind of hiking and camping trips offered by the movement and started their own organization. In this film, in the dying days of the Third Reich, two young brothers go head-to-head over their chosen ideologies. Peter has taken up his father's cause and joined the Hitler Youth, but Karl is a member of the 'Edelweiss Pirates'. The two groups battle constantly amid the ruins of Cologne, where war-torn families live in fear under the tightening grip of the Gestapo.The Pirates' minor skirmishes escalate into a deadly game when they rescue an escaped prisoner, the charismatic bomb expert, Hans. He takes up their cause and convinces the Pirates to help him on a daring mission to blow up Gestapo headquarters. Crushed by the news that his father's faith in the Third Reich was a lie, Peter becomes disenchanted with the Hitler Youth and joins the Pirates under Hans' guidance. Now Karl must protect his small family from the tyranny of the Gestapo despite Peter's stubborn loyalty to his new father figure.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"Edelweiss Pirates" along with "The Lives of Others" and "Sophie Scholl" are the best movies from Germany to be widely released this year. They all tell the awful truth of the encroachment of the German state into the daily lives of ordinary Germans at different time periods, accusing those collaborating with the state to commit countless atrocities.
"Edelweiss Pirates" is the true story of a boy in his late teens who lived in a bombed out city in Cologne, he and his buddies are members of the Edelweiss Pirates, a gang of ragtag street kids that were the rivals of the Hitler Youths. They stole supplies from the Nazis to survive, hid and a camp escapee and even plotted to blow up the local Gestapo headquarters, many did not survive to see the end of the war. The film depicts a nuanced portrait of the German people and of the protagonists themselves, a celebration of the triumph of the human spirit over the banality of evil.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i love this film 13 July 2007
Like every director, Niko von Glasow wants exciting material for his films that will grip and move an audience. But he also has personal reasons for wanting to film a story of resistance: "My father is of Jewish descent and survived the concentration camps. So the Nazis would have deemed me "unworthy of life" in two respects: because of my Jewish background and as a handicapped person! In "Edelweiss Pirates" I tell how completely ordinary young people did extraordinary things in an extreme situation. They surpassed themselves because they remained true to themselves. I show how merciless the state terror of a dictatorship can be, and how human people can be".

Niko von Glasow says the following about the form of the film: "I will make a modern film for people who feel the same way today as the Edelweiss Pirates did back then. The film will be shot using several hand-held cameras. The camera will go in pursuit, run away, and hide. We'll be showing everything and not sparing the audience; we'll take them into hiding places, ruins, torture chambers and to the gallows".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fact based historical must see 15 May 2011
By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER
Edelweiss Pirates ( Edelweißpiraten ) is a film from director Niko von Glasow (who appears to have written his own review!) based on the true story of the youth groups that emerged in Germany in the early 1930's as a direct consequence of rejecting National Socialism. Moreover they hated the strict militarism of the Hitler Youth (Hitelrjugend).

The film centres around a group in Koln who became increasingly politicised as a consequence of the crackdown that Heinrich Himmler had ordered in October of 1944. They rescue an enforced labourer and nurse him back to health. The two brothers at the centre of this story are originally diametrically opposed, as the younger is in the Hitler Youth whilst his brother sports the badge of the Edelweiss Pirates. He has an awakening when he hears of his father's death at the front, and of his opposition to the war and Hitler.

Passive rebellion turns to all out confrontation and violence, and even as the allies are closing in, the Nazi's continue their repression. This film does not shrink from showing the torture and executions that took place. It is a well woven plot, with enough action to keep `war/action movie fans, glued to their seats. It also comes across as a story that needs to be told. To this day, the families of those who suffered have never seen any reparations.

In German with very good non literal translation into English, this is a film I can highly recommend and felt it should have reached a much wider audience. If you enjoyed this film, then you may be interested in the little known `Swing Kids'Swing Kids [DVD] [1993], which tells the story of another group of disaffected youths from the same period.
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