The horrors and moral compromises of war set the stage for this harrowing drama from director Max Färberböck, based on a true story. An anonymous female reporter (Nina Hoss) is living in Berlin in the spring of 1945; most of the city has… More The horrors and moral compromises of war set the stage for this harrowing drama from director Max Färberböck, based on a true story. An anonymous female reporter (Nina Hoss) is living in Berlin in the spring of 1945; most of the city has been reduced to rubble by bombing, the German army has been decimated, and most of those left behind are expecting the arrival of Russian troops and fearful of what awaits them. The reporter is one of a number of women who are hiding wherever they can in the city, expecting that they will be raped and brutalized by the Russians. It doesn't take long for their worst fears to be realized as the emotionally ravaged Russian soldiers take out their anger and frustration on their new captives. But the reporter, who can speak Russian, is determined not to allow herself to be violated by the soldiers, and she decides to curry favor with a Soviet officer who will then protect her from his underlings. The reporter's plan works as she becomes the lover of Major Andrej (Yevgeni Sidikhin), an officer with decidedly mixed feelings about his work. But as the reporter trades consensual sex for the safety Andrej can give her, both are aware who is the victor and who is a captive, and elsewhere in Berlin both German survivors and the soldiers occupying Berlin show the scars of war as they bring out the worst in one another. Anonyma -- Eine Frau in Berlin (aka A Woman in Berlin) received its world premiere at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.
Consensus: With a powerful lead performance by star Nina Hoss, A Woman in Berlin sheds a light on the moral complications of war.