6 September 2003 | dbdumonteil
How could she bridge the gap?
"Die Letzte Brücke" was the movie which put Maria Schell on the map:it is probably her best part:emotion to the fore,sentimentality kept to economical levels -which was not always so in her later films.Her portrayal of a German doctor kidnapped by Yougoslavian partisans is unforgettable.
At the beginning,the young doctor is an earnest and dedicated but a bit superficial woman,who does not ask herself any questions.She never talks about politics with the staff in the hospital.When she falls into the enemy's hands,she's not certain of having God on her side anymore.Her heroism will not come overnight,it will be a long time before she discovers the absurdity of war .
Admirable sequences:the old grandma ,giving a dead's shoes to the doctor ,to help her relieve the suffering world;the German prisoner,who refuses medical cares because "she's a traitress";the finale ,with Schell crossing "the last bridge" to bring medicine to the "others".
Barely ten years after the end of WW2,it was a courageous movie,coming from the Federal Republic of Germany.Although it occasionally lapses into melodrama (notably the doctor's fiancé),it's still relevant today.