Director Max Färberböck rustles up a nuanced, provocative war movie with his tale of the mass rape of Berlin civilians by the invading Soviet army. It's based on an anonymous memoir that sparked scandal on first publication for daring to suggest that the flower of German womanhood amounted to a bunch of sluttish collaborators (as opposed, say, to demure Nazi sympathisers). The truth, however, is altogether more thorny than that. A Woman in Berlin shows how national loyalties are quickly jettisoned in the drive to survive and how weird, makeshift families can spring up from the rubble of a broken city.
Xan Brooks is a freelance writer and broadcaster specialising in cinema