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Director James Kent (“Testament of Youth”) intriguingly, hauntingly tells a tale of romance, devastation, deceit between injured, irreparably altered souls; chaos, detritus, beautifully depicted in the “winter of discontent” in postwar Hamburg, Germany; actors Keira Knightley, “Rachel Morgan”, Alexander Skarsgard, “Stefan Lubert” and Jason Clarke, “Colonel Lewis Morgan” imbue their characters with heart-wrenching depth and integrity; the Morgan’s have requisitioned the mansion of architect Lubert; never has a home and its owner been so immaculately paired; Lewis is charged with maintaining order; de-Nazification of a city whose youth still revers Adolph Hitler; the trio, scarred beyond mending, internalizing their lacerations, must address what can never be undone.  Of all the participants Colonel Morgan represents the purist moral code; ignoring stereotypical dictates, he treats Germans, with refined respect, especially Stefan Lubert and his daughter (“Freda” (Flora Thienann) an annoying, bitter and simpering adolescent), allowing them to stay in the palatial domicile, which they no longer own.

“The Aftermath” longs to legitimize wartime scenarios; a metaphor for war’s debasement, creating unlikely bedfellows, while simultaneously giving birth to unlikely heroes. The acting transcends the story but not enough to subtract from the exquisiteness of the human condition.





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