Film: Sterne

Boy Meets Girl - after a fashion

English title, Stars. This 1959 East German film set in a small Bulgarian village during World War II concerns the tentative and doomed relationship between "Walter", a conscience-stricken German corporal, and Ruth, a Greek Jew imprisoned in the nearby concentration camp.

Needless to say, it doesn't end well.

This film contains examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Twice. First time they both break it off, and the second time, their lips touch, but Ruth quickly pulls away, saying "It can not be."
  • Despair Speech: Walter is fond of these.
  • Downer Ending
  • False Reassurance
  • Faux Affably Evil: We first see Kurt coming to the aid of a tired Jewish woman - by gently lifting her child onto a cattle car for her.
  • Handicapped Badass: Walter is limping, probably from a war injury.
  • How We Got Here: The narration starts as we see Ruth being deported and Walter missing her train.
  • I Lied: Kurt lies about the deportation schedule. He tells Walter by writing this on the latter's portrait of Ruth.
  • Infant Immortality: Obviously averted. Ruth's pupils will be deported with her at the beginning. And the child delivered in the camp is stated to be dead hours after his birth.
  • Kick the Dog: Kurt's vicious message to Walter that he scrawls on his portrait of Ruth.
  • La Résistance: The Bulgarian partisans .
  • Love Across Battlelines
  • Meaningful Echo: When the protagonists are talking about stars and men Ruth says: —>"Every human being has got a protective star in the sky, but once you rip it off from its place, Man can do nothing but perish". And simbolically, when Walter finds at the station her ripped of yellow star everybody know what does it mean.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The partisans never learn "Walter"'s real name, and so refer to him by an apparently randomly chosen pseudonym, or as "the Corporal".
  • Separated by the Wall: By the wire fence of the camp, in several shots.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Walter, who was previously stationed at Leningrad, shows signs of this. His Despair Speech about human kind is probably generated by the horrors he witnessed.
  • Starts With Their Deportation: The first scene of the film shows Ruth and the other inmates being loaded into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz
  • Surprisingly Good Bulgarian: One can discern a lot of Walter's character simply by the fact that has gone to the trouble of picking up some Bulgarian.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Ruth and the other Jews.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: Particularly gutting example. In the opening scene, Walter hopelessly chases after the train carrying Ruth to her death until it disappears into a tunnel.
  • World War II