Sky Without Stars

108 minutes

This fine 1955 social drama by Helmut K√§utner explores the emotional dislocation caused by the “dark line that divides Germany from Germany.” A factory worker in the east (Eva Kotthaus) whose lover died during the Allied invasion slips over the border to the west hoping to regain custody of her young son, who's been adopted by her in-laws. They're unwilling to see the boy grow up under communism, but she's bound to East Germany by her frail grandparents, traumatized survivors of the bombing of Dresden. A star-crossed romance between the mother and a compassionate West German border guard (Erik Schumann), which dominates the latter half, never rises above the banal, but the first half offers a sensitive study of loyalties divided by the cold war. In German with subtitles.

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