Margarethe von Trotta employed a set of literature techniques to appeal to the audience. The seven-day event that shaped Ruth’s personalities was shown in a series of flashbacks. The movie started by planting many questions into audience’s mind. Why did Ruth act so weird after her husband’s death? What happened to her? Why did she insist on separating her daughter Hannah and Hannah’s fiancé, Luis, when they appeared to be so much in love with each other? With these questions left unanswered, Trotta then led the audience into a period of Jewish history.
The film tried to achieve a balanced view. It portrays the non-Jewish German women, such as Ruth and Frau, as strong-willed persons that would risk anything to have their husbands saved. However, meanwhile, through Ruth’s expressive eyes, minor gestures and the fact that she tried to seduce one of the top Nazi commanders to release her husband, Trotta showed us the soft side of these women as well. One of my favorite movements was when Frau’s husband, Nathan, was released from Rosenstrasse. The first sentence Nathan said to Frau was, “Sorry to keep you waiting.” It was sweet. But at the same time it was heartrending. They were not the people who were supposed to feel sorry. They were all victims of their time. Also, not all the husbands were saved. The director’s intend was not to glorify the history, but to point out that some kind actions, although very small in scale, was carried out in the darkest period of time. There were husbands who divorced their wives to “get out of trouble”, but there were also wives that would wait tirelessly for their husband to come back. Such understandings of human nature were reasonably justified.