Germany, April-May 1945: officials cling to their authority as the Nazi fantasy collapses around them; a girl numbly mounts guard over her suicided parents; bands of recalcitrant SS shoot up everything that moves. The film consists of such vignettes, all precisely dated and evidently transcribed from the director's own recollections. Like his alter ego in the film, the teenage Wolf served with the advancing Red Army. The technique - meticulously authentic settings, pseudo-spontaneous handheld camerawork - generates a tremendous sense of reality. But the inevitable sanitised portrayal of Russian soldiery - noble fellows all - undermines it considerably.