Netflix has become the very melting pot of universal cinematic cultures in contemporary times. It has established itself as a platform where diverse methods of filmmaking from all over the world come together to celebrate the power of cinema. Right from the Western part of the globe including America, to the Eastern sphere including India, Netflix boasts them all. With such a varied group of nationalities, the omniscient German industry has some great uploads on Netflix. Esteemed filmmakers like Luis Bunuel and Werner Herzog have paved the way for German films to be considered at par with quality cinema, and the new age visionaries haven’t disappointed. Here is the list of really good German movies on Netflix.
12. Generation War (2013)
‘Generation War’ isn’t a typical film, wherein it is divided into three installments part of a miniseries. But as with Kieslowski’s ‘Dekalog’ and the new-era of television where miniseries often are like ten-hour films, ‘Generation War’ is a deeply engrossing film. The eccentric and harrowing context of the World War II becomes the cradle for five young friends, as they navigate destruction around them. Spread over a course of four years, ‘Generation War’ presents an unvarnished and unadulterated portrait of Germany’s dealings in the war and takes on the challenge with the unprecedented craftiness of prefacing friendship and love in the direst of times, in the midst of destruction and misery.
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11. Das Experiment (2001)
A group of twenty young men concedes their life and identities for two weeks for an experiment. Tarek, an undercover reporter, finds an Air Force Major, who discuss the nature of this experiment. The group is divided between guards and prisoners, and thus begins a game of phases that rattles out the very life out of them. ‘Das Experiment’s confrontational narrative style and fast-paced plotline are seemingly incongruous to how German films normally are. The brief moments that aren’t thrilling, are replaced by harrowing imagery and internal conflicts of the characters, leaving no space for the viewer to catch its breath. Thought-provoking, clever, and immensely engaging, ‘Das Experiment’ emerges a triumphant effort well-worthy of your time.
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10. Hannah Arendt (2012)
Barbara Sukowa’s stunning inhabitation of history’s most prolific and respected woman philosophist might qualify as one of the greatest performances of the century. In von Trotta’s observant and tempered portrayal of Arendt’s coverage of Adolf Eichmann’s inhumane acts for the New Yorker, Sukowa shines bright, anchoring with envious depth a magnificent chapter in Arendt’s life. While the movie isn’t reflective of Arendt’s passion and dexterity, Sukowa personifies her deeply humane instincts and benevolence with fright moments of shock and disbelief, championing an intense character-study.
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9. Look Who’s Back (2015)
When you have two accomplished actors competing to bring to life a man who’s, by the grace of God, dead, comparisons are inevitable. ‘Look Who’s Back’ resuscitates Adolf Hitler in the 21st Century and the result is two hours of irreverent humor and shocking insights into Germany’s wholehearted acceptance of their former ‘Fuhrer’. While ‘Downfall’ delved with solemnity, much like Mr. Ganz’s performance, ‘Look Who’s Back’ paints a highly satirical and seasoned portrait through its scintillating lead, Oliver Masucci. His ingenious imitation of Hitler’s psyche is served well by the filmmakers who draw him in situations that will almost send you in hysterics. The dynamic feature is solidly performed and imaginatively gathered, leaving viewers with a strangely satisfying and unique experience.
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8. Funny Games (1998)
‘Funny Games’ is a suspenseful thrill ride around an unassuming family as they experience a vacation in damnation: Anna, George and their child touch base at their dazzling lakeside home in the midst of a furlough and meet an abnormal and requesting young fellow – a visitor of their neighbors”- who ends up having rather brutal propensities. The in-house horror-comedy was revived years later for American screens, but could only succeed in spoiling Haneke’s brilliant film’s legacy. ‘Funny Games’ explores various tendencies of the society to behave when under immense pressure. The chaotic and quaint setting functions as a backdrop that psychologists often dream of hypothesizing in real life. Haneke achieves a rare level of perfection in molding the story around these unabashed surroundings, pristine and pleasant on the outside, rotten and macabre on the inside.
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7. Naked Among Wolves (2015)
The Holocaust is something that humanity can never shrug off. It still stands as the worst side of human nature imaginable. There have been innumerable representations of the misery of Jewish victims on celluloid. Stories of unrelenting horror and deep anguish have touched us all. ‘Naked Among Wolves’, though, takes a path less treaded and endeavors to find moments of happiness in the macabre surroundings. The Buchenwald concentration camp becomes the vessel for Philip Kadelbach’s immeasurably human and sharply observant prose about a three-year-old boy sneaked in a box in the worst place on earth. Hans Pippig raises him as one of his own, shielding him from Nazi attention and forbearing his people’s inadvertent freedom. ‘Naked Among Wolves’ embraces its grim setting with the unconditional and pious father-son like love, subverting forces of hatred and persecution. Although rough around the edges, the patience of the director and endearing actors flourish in this well-made featurette.
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6. White Ribbon (2009)
Where would the world be without Michael Haneke’s absurdist, brilliant cinema? His extraordinary vision and quaint style of filmmaking have touched us all and left us in awe of his craft. Haneke constructs his surrealist world in the pretext of a highly divided society, whose morality is deeply-seated in the viciousness of class and capitalism. Elitists rule over the general population and become a part of an uprising that threatens to be all-consuming and disheveling in nature. Black and white are often used as metaphoric tools to contrast the actions and motives of people, characterized by different social moralities. Haneke subverts conventional notions of storytelling and wholeheartedly presents a refreshing and haunting cinematic experience that you will not forget anytime soon.
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5. Run Lola Run (1999)
‘Run, Lola, Run’ is every filmmaker’s dream. Refreshingly original and vividly brought to life by a stellar cast, the dream-like imagery of ‘Run, Lola, Run’ is intoxicating. While many find it vague and overtly stylized, the film really pushes boundaries of conventional narrative structures to pan out the plot in three scenarios. Lola’s decision-making is explored in a highly inventive and frenetic environment, cultivating a relentless pace for the film. Every action of hers is closely scrutinized and amplified in a way that will leave you short of your breath. German cinema certainly gains with this powerfully-charged cinematic experience.
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4. Downfall (2004)
‘Downfall’ charts the final days of Hitler at his most vulnerable as the truth of the war dawns on the Germans. Made with an unflinching loyalty to Hitler’s eccentric and brash personal space, ‘Downfall’ doesn’t waver much from its frenetic protagonist. The plot pretty much remains inside the bunker, panning with great purpose its fallen subjects. There isn’t a lot of focus on what is happening outside, but much care is given to whatever goes on inside, akin to its protagonist. Hiterl cuts an isolated figure, despite his closest associates and family being present with him. Bruno Ganz’s masterful personation of Hitler’s peculiar idiosyncrasies is ghastly and really uncanny. ‘Downfall’ is a worthy character study of probably the most hated man in the history of the world.
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3. The Lives of Others (2006)
A man who has committed his life to ferreting out “risky” characters is tossed into a predicament when he implores and shadows a man who represents no danger in this dramatization, the main component from German movie producer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. It’s 1984, and Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe) is an operator of the Stasi, the East German Secret Police. Weisler painstakingly and impartially researches individuals who may be esteemed a type of risk to the state. Not long after Weisler’s previous schoolmate, Lt. Col. Grubitz (Ulrich Tukur), welcomes him to a dramatic piece by veteran and popular East German writer Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch), Minister Bruno Hempf (Thomas Thieme) advises Weisler that he associates Dreyman with political dissidence, and miracles if this famous nationalist is everything that he is by all accounts.
Things being what they are, Hempf has something of an ulterior thought process in endeavoring to stick something on Dreyman: a profound situated captivation by Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck), Dreyman’s better half. By the by, Grubitz, who is restless to advance his vocation, designates Weisler to keep an eye on the man of honor with his assistance. Weisler plants listening gadgets in Dreyman’s flat and starts shadowing the author. As Weisler screens Dreyman’s everyday life, in any case (from a mystery reconnaissance station in the man of his word’s upper room), he finds the essayist is one of only a handful couple of East Germans who really has confidence in his pioneers. These progressions over the long haul, in any case, as Dreyman finds that Christa-Maria is being coerced into a sexual association with Hempf, and one of Dreyman’s companions, arrange chief Albert Jerska (Volkmar Kleinert), is headed to suicide after himself being debased by the administration. Dreyman’s dependability in this way moves from the East German government, and he namelessly posts an insurrectionary piece in a noteworthy daily paper which rouses the rage of government authorities. In the meantime, Weisler turns out to be profoundly sincerely drawn into the lives of Dreyman and Sieland, and moves toward becoming something of an insurgent figure himself, grasping flexibility of thought and articulation.
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2. Toni Erdman (2016)
In the age of female ascendancy and a highly isolating corporate culture, Winfried doesn’t see a lot of his working daughter Ines. The all of a sudden understudy less music instructor chooses to surprise her with a visit after the passing of his old puppy. It’s a clumsy move in light of the fact that the genuinely busy, overwhelmed Ines is dealing with an imperative undertaking as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. The land change doesn’t assist the two with seeing more eye to eye. Down to earth joker, Winfried loves to disturb his little girl with cheesy tricks, becoming the primary humor source in the movie. What’s more regrettable are his little punches at her normal way of life of long gatherings, lodging bars, and execution reports.
Father and little girl achieve an impasse, and Winfried consents to return home to Germany. Enter gaudy “Toni Erdmann”: Winfried’s smooth-talking change self-image. Camouflaged in a cheap suit, bizarre wig and considerably more peculiar phony teeth, Toni freight boats into Ines’ expert life, professing to be her CEO’s holistic mentor. As Toni, Winfried is bolder and doesn’t keep down, however, Ines addresses the difficulty. The harder they push, the closer they progress toward becoming. In all the franticness, Ines starts to comprehend that her capricious dad may merit someplace in her life all things considered.
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1. Das Boot (1981)
Das Boot is a standout amongst the most holding and veritable war motion pictures in the history of celluloid. Based on a personal memoir based novel by German World War II photographer Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, the film takes after the lives of a dauntless U-Boat skipper (Jurgen Prochnow) and his unpracticed group as they peruse the Atlantic and Mediterranean looking for Allied vessels, alternating as seeker and prey. There’s almost no plot, so the motion picture’s capacity originates from its two arresting, epic fight scenes and its subtle elements of the exhausting hours spent sitting tight for requests or indications of the foe. Except for one staunch Hitler Youth lieutenant, none of the team is especially faithful to the Nazis, and some are straightforwardly threatening toward their Fuhrer; this permits watcher sensitivity for the men as they play out their relentless, dreary obligations in confined, foul quarters, or anticipate demise as profundity charges detonate all around the sub.
Prochnow is brilliant as the nerves-of-steel leader, and a significant number of the supporting performing artists – all German – are strong too, in spite of the fact that the portrayals verge on war motion picture buzzwords (the youthful crew member who has deserted his pregnant sweetheart, the Chief Engineer whose spouse is truly sick). The genuine star, be that as it may, is cinematographer Jost Vacano, who makes the sub’s foul, claustrophobic inside come to striking life, as his camera finishes the group hatches, up stepping stools, into bunks, and under channels, making a substantial feeling of claustrophobia while infusing it with development.
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