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.