The Nasty Girl
(Das Schreckliche Madchen)

Schoolgirl Sonja comes from a respected, religious family in Bavaria. She wins a prize for the best essay in a continent-wide competition, prompting her to enter the next essay competition when it is announced, which has the subject "My Town During the Third Reich." Sonja decides to write this essay on how the people in her town resisted the Nazis, but as she learns about her town's past, she realizes that this is not the truth. The townspeople resist her questioning, and she is denied access to the city and church archives, causing her to miss the deadline of the contest. However, years later when she is married and has a family, Sonja returns to her project with more ambition than ever before. She begins receiving threats from other townspeople, and her husband moves out. More and more truths are spilled out through her research, and finally, in a last, desperate attempt to silence her, the town tries to honor her, hoping that she will retire from her investigation. However, Sonja will not allow this to happen, and after barraging the townspeople with a tirade of resistance, she flees to the outskirts of town.

The film attempts to address Europe's denial of the atrocities that recently occurred during World War II. After the Nazi war crime trials and the de-Nazification process had been completed, many people tried overly hard to forget about the past and push their guilt into the backs of their minds. As a result, children born to the war generation were not taught about their countries' pasts during the Nazi era, and their questions and attempts to learn about this history were thwarted by adults. As Sonja finds, these inquiries were a great threat to the silence in which many people, some quite prestigious, had been able to shroud their pasts. Thus, by forgetting, the European people attempted to cope with their horrific pasts.

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