Zwölfeläuten (The Silent Bell)
The Austrian province of Styria, March 1945. Based on the stage play by Heinz Rudolf Unger, The Silent Bell tells of the final days of WW II in a mountain village. Although peace is at the doorstep, war is still at the kitchen table. The forests already belong to the partisans, the roads are still controlled by the remnants of the Wehrmacht.
St. Kilian is covered by snow. The forester shoots at partisans, but they flee. However, their trail leads to the village. Directly to the church. The priest doesn't want anything to do with it, of course.
The SS takes away the church bells of all the villages to be melted and made into weapons for the final victory. But old Mrs. Lindmoser can only rest in peace when the church bells ring at her funeral. On her deathbed she has promised Adolf a printing of The Guardian Angel if he'd see to it. The boy Adolf from the village, not Adolf the Führer. So little Adolf rings the bell to get the guardian angel.
And he needs it urgently. The ringing awakens everyone calves, dogs, and those dirty pigs. It's the moment for foul play. Whoever drops his mask too soon just might lose everything. Whatever you do, don't say what you think. Don't show what can be seen. Could be dangerous. Change to the winning side. But who will be the winner?
In the end it's the Russians who arrive at the village. Everything and nothing has changed. Everything's under control. Except for the past.
HS: "This one I especially like among my films. I put a lot of personal memories - discussions with my parents, my studies of political science into it. Besides, I'm proud that this film clearly proved that so-called 'awkward' topics can find very large audiences on TV."