Chancellor Scholz proud of German antiwar film's 4 Oscars

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Edward Berger, front center, accepts the award for "All Quiet on the Western Front" from Germany, for best international feature film at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Standing from left are Daniel Bruhl, Malte Grunert, Albrecht Abraham Schuch, Felix Kammerer, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

BERLIN – Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday expressed pride that the German antiwar movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” won four Oscars including best international film.

“Congratulations on four Oscars!” Scholz tweeted.

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“It is a huge success for the German film, one can be rightly proud of it,” the German chancellor added. “Especially in these difficult times, it shows unmistakably how terrible and inhumane war is.”

The Netflix film starring Austrian actor Felix Kammerer, which was directed and co-written by Edward Berger, also won for cinematography, production design and original score Sunday night.

“With four Oscars, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front' sets an unprecedented record for German film,” said Germany’s State Minister for Culture and Media, Claudia Roth. “It will bring German film worldwide attention and give it new significance.”

The film is based on the classic 1929 novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque. Set during World War I, it follows the life of a young German soldier who enlists in the army with his friends. But the realities of war shatter his hopes of becoming a hero and he focuses on his own survival.

The German film shows the horrors of war from the unique perspective of the nation that triggered and lost two world wars.

It has an eerie timeliness as young European men are again killing each other in trenches after Russian President Vladimir Putin's army invaded Ukraine last year.

“It is also the right film at the right time, as it highlights a war in Europe in all its cruelty and brutality, which is currently raging again in the middle of Europe, triggered by Putin’s criminal attack on Ukraine,” said Roth.

Netflix’s adaptation was released in October. It also won seven awards at last month’s BAFTA Film Awards, including the influential ceremony’s best picture honor. It has, since its release, been among the most watched non-English films on Netflix in the U.S., according to the streaming service.

“We tried to make a film about our past, about our responsibility in Germany and with our history,” Berger said at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

“Our urge was to talk about our guilt and our shame that we’ve brought and the terror that the two wars have caused in the world," he added. "Hopefully, at some point we will stop making the same mistakes in the future.”

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