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KINO favorites: Top 10 German dramas

Scott RoxboroughJuly 8, 2016

DW's cinema team picks the best German films of all time. Our Top 10 dramas include a 1950s anti-war film, a love story set between Hamburg and Istanbul, and a polit-thriller from behind the Berlin Wall.

Kino Favoriten Kino #25 best German Dramas Das Leben der Anderen
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Buena Vista

What are the best German films of all time? That was the question the team at Kino, DW's cinema show, set out to answer with our new series.

But we quickly ran into problems with the definition. What does best actually mean? The most successful, the most critically-acclaimed, or maybe the most influential? And by what measure? Box office performance, international sales, festival awards?

We realized there were films that had a huge impact when they were first released, but which haven't stood the test of time. Similarly, some movies that were ignored when they first came out have since been recognized as masterpieces.

Confession: Our list is opinionated

Also, we at Kino are an opinionated bunch. We didn't want to use some outside measure, be it ticket sales or Oscar wins, to rank our list. Taste is subjective, particularly taste in movies. So we dumped all claims of objectivity. We decided to call the series Kino Favorites. These are our favorite films, the best German movies according to us. Feel free to disagree. We know we're right.

It would be impossible to cram a century of German film into one Top 10 list, so we're doing several, divided up into genres and categories including favorite German dramas, favorite comedies, favorite Berlin films, favorite German genre movies, and so on.

We also set ourselves a few rules. An individual film can appear in one list only - so a Berlin-set comedy could be a favorite comedy or a favorite Berlin film, but not both, and a single director can only appear once in any list. We might think Werner Herzog is the greatest director of all time, but we're not going to make a Top 10 list with six Herzog movies.

We kick off our series with the Top 10 best German dramas of all time. It was the most contentious list, but we think we've come up with the definitive Top 10 dramas, stretching in time from Fritz Lang's groundbreaking science-fiction epic "Metropolis" in 1927 to "The White Ribbon," Michael Haneke's instant classic from 2009.

Did your favorites make the cut? Take a look and tell us what you think by sending us an email at kino@dw.com.