Nach Mitternacht (After Midnight) (1981)

Based on Irmgard Keun’s novel written in exile, in which a young girl is confronted with the cruel reality of the Nazi state: In 1935, 18-year-old Sanne is sent by her father to live with her aunt Adelheid in Frankfurt, where she is to work in her aunt’s stationery shop. She falls in love with her cousin Franz, wants to marry him and set up her own shop with him. But her bossy and begrudging aunt reports Sanne to the Gestapo. Sanne has to leave Franz and moves in with her brother, the writer Algin, where she also meets opposition figures and Jews. The death of a little girl and the suicide of a journalist disgraced by the Nazis at one of her brother’s parties make Sanne finally realise the cruelty of the Nazi regime. With Franz, who has killed an informer and is on the run from the police, she wants to leave Germany and takes the night train to Rotterdam.


Désirée Nosbusch’s debut film. She was 16 during filming and her nude scene angered the public and it was the beginning of a career setback. “The nude pictures were a found food for the ‘Bravo’ magazine. I realized then that I can’t trust just anyone, and that led to a real identity crisis for me. If my parents had had one wish, it would certainly have been to keep this entertainment thing away from their daughter. I think they were deeply shocked that I left grammar school at sixteen without a degree.”