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Der Aufenthalt (Turning Point)

1982, color, 102 min. Feature
Dir.: Frank Beyer
Script: Wolfgang Kohlhaase
Camera: Eberhard Geick
Music: Günther Fischer
Cast: Sylvester Groth, Fred Düren, Matthias Günther, Klaus Piontek, Hans-Uwe Bauer, Alexander von Heteren, Horst Hiemer, Andrzej Pieczynski, et al.
35mm, English subtitles - renting information
16mm, no subtitles - renting information
VHS-PAL, English subtitles - renting information

Synopsis:

The young German POW Mark Niebuhr, a former rifleman of an infantry battalion, arrives on a train at the Warsaw depot in October 1945. A Polish woman believes to have recognized him as the SS officer who murdered her daughter. He is separated from the group without knowing why and thrown into solitary confinement, alone with his worst fears. The investigation into his past is led by a young Polish lieutenant the same age as Mark.  After four years, Mark goes to a cell with a Polish prisoner who confronts him brimming with hatred. At his work assignment in Warsaw's ruinous landscape, he must clear away the most dangerous of collapsing walls. He ends up rescuing a child, breaking his arm in doing so and ends up in the hospital, where he learns that his own murder investigation is fully underway. Following his hospital stay, he is transferred to a cell containing only German prisoners. Here, the old hierarchy and fascist spirit still reign in microcosm with General Eisensteck and Major Lundenbroich at the top. The wrongfully accused Niebuhr is thus taken in by the real war criminals as one of their own. He gradually begins to see through their ploys, resists them, isolates himself and thereby recognizes something greater within the guilt that now enmeshes his life. After eight months, his innocence in the murder trial is proven and he is released.

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