The astonishing The Bridge, by Bernhard Wicki (The Longest Day), was the first major antiwar film to come out of Germany after World War II, as well as the nation’s first postwar film to be widely shown internationally, even securing an Oscar nomination. Set near the end of the war, it follows a group of teenage boys in a small town as they contend with everyday matters like school, girls, and parents, before enlisting as soldiers and being forced to defend their home turf in a confused, terrifying battle. This expressively shot, emotionally bruising drama dared to humanize young German soldiers at a historically tender moment, and proved influential for the coming generation of New German Cinema auteurs.
Seven drafted German schoolboys die defending a worthless bridge against Allied tanks.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New interview with writer Gregor Dorfmeister, on whose autobiographical novel the film is based
New interview with filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff about the film’s impact on German cinema
Interview from 1989 with director Bernhard Wicki
Excerpt from a 2007 documentary by Elisabeth Wicki-Endriss, Wicki’s wife, featuring test reel footage from the shoot
PLUS: An essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty