Framed as the memories of a young schoolgirl in a small German village, this realistic, harrowing drama focuses on the lives of the girl and her acquaintances during World War II. She and her friends of varying ages come up against the harsh cruelties of war in several shattering experiences. One of them is almost raped by a bitter and disfigured soldier, another makes a suicide pact with her lover, a professed Nazi is sent home from the war as a paraplegic, while a young man against the Nazis is among those killed in a bombing raid. The inhumanity of war is not confined to physical wounds, violent death, or rape; the drama goes on to paint twisted psyches that have been bent by unholy circumstances.
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