Berlin Film Festival: Hilde shows Nazi resistance fighter’s quiet strength

Berlin Film Festival: Hilde shows Nazi resistance fighter’s quiet strength

BERLIN — Hilde Coppi, slightly uptight and bookish, well-liked by her employers, does not fit the image of a heroic Nazi resistance fighter, which is precisely why director Andreas Dresen was drawn to her character for the new film From Hilde, With Love.

“(She is) someone who doesn’t stride ahead with her fist held high but whose decency comes from the heart. And I think people like that are often overlooked. But they are very valuable,” Mr. Dresen told Reuters ahead of the film’s premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday.

Coppi’s octogenarian son walked the red carpet along with the cast of the film competing for the festival’s top prize.

Hilde’s joyful moments — falling in love with Hans Coppi (Johannes Hegemann) and becoming pregnant — are interspersed with her time at a women’s prison, where she gave birth, and eventual execution in the film, which stars Babylon Berlin star Liv Lisa Fries.

The Nazis beheaded 34-year-old Hilde in August 1943 for her role in the loosely knit group known as the Red Orchestra, which involved passing on Soviet broadcasts about German prisoners of war to affected families and helping Hans transmit Morse code messages to Moscow — all but one of which reached its destination.

For Mr. Dresen and screenwriter Laila Stieler, From Hilde, With Love was a way to turn the anti-fascist icons they grew up with in the former East Germany into normal people whom audiences could relate to and who are just trying to do the right thing.

Mr. Dresen said the fact that the film is topical again, as Germany’s far right has gained an increasing political foothold, is not something that he wanted. “We live in a time where we have to make sure that we remain decent, that we remain human.” — Reuters