This artfully filmed story of life in a German village before the first world war presents a realistic picture of how well meaning parents raised their children. Discipline and obedience were all important. Shaming and harsh punishments were meted out for any failure to obey. The children in the story (filmed in black and white) walk about in a gang of seemingly well-behaved little robots.
Terrible things are happening in this village of obedient children and strict parents. The doctor is returning from his daily horseback ride when his horse trips and falls over a wire strung between trees. Someone has done this deliberately. But who? A mentally challenged child is found tied upside down on a tree, badly beaten. Another child is beaten in the same way.
The young man who is the school teacher begins to suspect the children. Their revenge smacks of punishment. He confronts two of the children in their home and is getting close to forming a suspicion in his mind. However, the respectable father intervenes and throws him out of his house. That ends any investigation.
The voice-over is the aged voice of the school teacher, now an old man looking back on these sinister events. What happened, he says, must have something to do with what followed in German history.
I found the film remarkable in many ways: beautifully filmed, well acted (how did they find an actor to play the mentally challenged child?) and thought provoking. What did German child rearing have to do with the events which followed, I had to wonder.Confessions of a Trauma Therapist: A Memoir of Healing and Transformation