Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter, translated as “Our Mothers, our Fathers”) is a German World War II TV miniseries in three parts.
The series tells the story of five German friends, aged around 20, on their different paths through Nazi Germany and World War II: as Wehrmacht soldiers on the Eastern Front, a war nurse, an aspiring singer, and a Jewish tailor. The narrative spans four years, starting in 1941 Berlin, when the friends meet up for a last time before embarking on their journeys, enthusiastically vowing to meet up again the following Christmas. The story’s conclusion is set shortly after the end of the war in 1945.
There are three 90 minute parts: A Different Time (Eine andere Zeit), A Different War (Ein anderer Krieg), and A Different Country (Ein anderes Land). Not all Germans were NSDAP members, or anti-Semites. The film conveys that, and yet does not gloss-over the forced use of the Heer by the RSHA to augment the Einsatzgruppen in Ukraine, and Poland.
- Volker Bruch: Wilhelm Winter.
- Tom Schilling: Friedhelm Winter.
- Katharina Schüttler: Greta Müller.
- Ludwig Trepte: Viktor Goldstein.
- Miriam Stein: Charlotte.
- Mark Waschke: Dorn.
- Christiane Paul: Lilija.
- Sylvester Groth: Sturmbannführer / Standartenführer Hiemer.
- Henriette Richter-Röhl [de]: Hildegard.
- Götz Schubert [de]: Dr. Jahn.
- Bernd Michael Lade: Feldwebel Krebs.
- Maxim Mehmet: Hauptmann Feigl.
- Alina Levshin: Alina, a Pole from Warsaw.
- Samuel Finzi: Viktor’s father.
- Dorka Gryllus: Viktor’s mother.
- Johanna Gastdorf: Mother Winter.
- Peter Kremer: Father Winter.
- Anne Diemer [de]: Dorn’s wife.
- Trystan Pütter [de]: Bertok.
- David Zimmerschied [de]: Schneider.
- Joel Basman: Bartel.
- Antonio Wannek [de]: Koch.
- Lucas Gregorowicz: Polish partisan leader.
- Benjamin Trinks: Eins.
- Michael Ihnow [de]: Francizek.
- Ludwig Blochberger: Freitag.
- Hildegard Schroedter: German head nurse.
- Tino Mewes: Zwei.
- Marek Harloff: Karow.
- Jean Denis Römer [de]: Russian officer in the hospital.
- Martin Hentschel: the officer who commits suicide.
- David Zimmerschied: Schneider.
- Laurens Walter [de]: Dorn’s Adjutant.
- Kristoffer Fuss: Russian soldier.
- Jan Niklas Berg [de]: German soldier.
- Matthias Halbrock: Russian doctor.
- Adam Markiewicz [de]: Stanislawski.
- Martin Bruchmann: Schmidt.
- Andre Borning: Russian officer.
- Bruno Montani: soldier.
- Inga Jarkova: Sonja, Russian nurse.
- Bernhard Conrad: Feldwebel.
- Franziska Böhm: Krystyna.
- Florian Andreas Rittweger: German traitor.
- Kristina Skokova : Jewish woman.
Generation War has generated much controversy. The Economist stated that hardly any German TV drama ever caused so much public debate. Critics have acknowledged the film to be well crafted, intense and unsparing in its depiction of combat on the eastern front. However, aspects such as the portrayal of the Polish resistance movement as anti-semites, the scant depiction of Nazi Germany’s objective to purge the Reich of Jews, and the blurring of differences between non-German victims and German perpetrators have been deplored by others.
Generation War is an UFA production, formally known as TeamWorx. It was filmed in sound stages and backlots at Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam and on location in Germany, Lithuania, and Latvia.
Originally, Viktor was to escape to France and finally to return as a regular soldier with the US Army. This part of the script was changed to a solution which could be produced on already available locations.
When the series aired in Germany in March 2013, each episode had some 7 million viewers.
The series was awarded the Deutscher Fernsehpreis 2013 (German Television Award) for the best multi-part television film of 2013.
Many Polish viewers were outraged at the depiction of Poles as anti-semites.
The score was released in Germany on 15 March 2013 on CD and in a digital format. The CD consists of 22 pieces. The digital release of the score consists of 42 pieces.
- Bavarian TV Awards, 2013:
- Won Special Award for the Ensemble Cast (Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Miriam Stein, Ludwig Trepte).
- German Television Award, 2013:
- Won Best Miniseries.
- Nominated Best Actor (Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling).
- German Television Academy Award, 2013:
- Won Best Director (Philipp Kadelbach).
- Won Best Actor (Tom Schilling).
- Won Best Production Design (Thomas Stammer).
- Won Best Costume Design (Wiebke Kratz).
- Won Best Makeup (Gerhard Zeiß).
- Won Best Stunt (Sandra Barger, Wanja Götz).
- Won Best Casting (Sarah Lee, Nina Haun).
- Goldene Kamera, 2014:
- Won Best TV Film.
- Nominated Best German Actress (Katharina Schüttler).
- 36th Jupiter Award, 2014:
- Won Best German TV Film.
- Nominated Best German TV Actor (Tom Schilling).
- 42nd International Emmy Awards, 2014:
- Won Best TV Movie/Mini-Series.
Generation War Series
- Episode 01: A Different Time (Eine andere Zeit).
- Episode 02: A Different War (Ein anderer Krieg).
- Episode 03: A Different Country (Ein anderes Land).
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Philipp Kadelbach.
- Benjamin Benedict … producer (3 episodes, 2013).
- Alexander Bickel … commissioning editor (3 episodes, 2013).
- Katrin Goetter … executive producer (3 episodes, 2013).
- Tim Greve … line producer (3 episodes, 2013).
- Heike Hempel … commissioning editor (3 episodes, 2013).
- Nico Hofmann … producer (3 episodes, 2013).
- Thorsten Ritsch … commissioning editor (3 episodes, 2013).
- Jürgen Schuster … producer (3 episodes, 2013).
- Sebastian Werninger … executive producer (3 episodes, 2013).
- Writer(s): Stefan Kolditz.
- Music: Fabian Romer.
- Cinematography: David Slama.
- Editor(s): Bernd Schlegel.
- Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF).
- teamWorx Produktion für Kino und Fernsehen GmbH.
- Beta Film (in association with).
- ZDF Enterprises (in association with).
- Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) (2013) (Germany) (TV).
- Music Box Films (2014) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled).
- Alive Vertrieb und Marketing (2013) (Germany) (DVD).
- Arrow Films (2014) (UK) (DVD).
- Atlantic Film (2014) (Finland) (DVD).
- Canvas (2016) (Belgium) (TV).
- Imagica BS (2014) (Japan) (TV).
- New Select (I) (2014) (Japan) (DVD).
- Yleisradio (YLE) (2014) (Finland) (TV).
- Release Date: 17 March 2013 to 20 March 2013.
- Running Time: 90 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: 15.
- Country: Germany.
- Language: German and English (subtitles).