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The International Changemaker

The International Changemaker

    All Quiet on the Western: Best Anti-War Film Ever

    Felix Kammerer plays protagonist Paul Bäumer in his feature acting debut.

    All Quiet On The Western Front is a 2022 anti-war film by Director Edward Berger that encapsulates the terrifying experience of war from the perspective of the losing side. The 2022 film is based on a novel of the same name from 1928 by Erich Maria Remarque, a German novel writer who fought in the Great War on the side of Imperial Germany. The novel gave the movie a great foundation to build on, but the aspect that stood out to me was undoubtedly the atmosphere of the film. The cinematography and the atmosphere alone make this movie worth your watch, not to mention the philosophical dilemmas this film presents.

    The film starts by putting you into a trench at the end of the First World War. Displaying the setting of this film and what period of history it will go over. After the cold open, we follow the main character, a 17-year-old German boy, who with his friends decides to join the military to fight against the French for glory. For the entire movie, we follow this group of friends and other people they meet in their battalion. We learn more about everyone’s story and connect with the characters, which makes you empathize with another perspective of history. This intimate portrait makes the viewer, question the ambition for war and why we as a society glorify violence, which is the goal of this film.

    Stanislaus Katczinsky addresses a group of young recruits. (Courtesy of Netflix)

    This film is made, shot, written, and directed beautifully, which is surprising because when you learn more about the production of this film you find out Hollywood had nothing to do with it. It was in its entirety a creation of German filmmaking. The actors they use aren’t famous, which makes you love the character not for the actor bias, but for the actual skill of acting displayed in the film. The plot keeps breaking off into two sides, one which covers the war on the ground from the perspective of the traumatized soldiers and the other which covers the Great War from the perspective of bureaucrats, politicians, and other highly ranked personnel. This structure allows the picture to paint a more complete story of WW1 and what it was like for the unlucky ones who fought and the lucky ones who avoided combat. This film should be watched at least twice to fully understand it but will stay engaging even after your fourth watch.

    Kammerer and Schuch in ‘All Quiet on The Western Front.’ (Courtesy of Netflix)

    Another positive aspect of the film is the soundtrack and how it boosts the atmosphere; the sudden silence mixed with war cries and a heavy brass ensemble makes goosebumps go up and down your back. The soundtrack of the film was created by German composer Volker Bertelmann, who did an undoubtedly amazing job. The film was nominated for Best Sound, and Bertelmann won an Oscar for Best Original Song. The film won a few more Oscars for Best International Feature Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Product Design.

    All Quiet On The Western Front is a modern masterpiece and what a real anti-war film should look like. It had a positive impact on me and thousands of other people who have viewed this movie. All Quiet On The Western Front will entertain you for the entirety of the movie and leave you with questions not only about the film but about society and yourself as a person.

    All Quiet On The Western Front is available exclusively on Netflix.

    All Quiet on the Western Front | Official Trailer | Netflix (

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    About the Contributor
    Khristian Mikhnov, Staff Reporter
    Khristian Mikhnov is an 18-year-old senior and a news reporter for The International Changemaker Newspaper. As a talented student with a passion for writing, Khristian is a leading member of the EF Academy Pasadena Creative Writing Club. He brings many years of experience in writing poems, short stories, and ballads. Born and raised in Vladivostok, Russia, he immigrated to the US for EF New York at the age of 16, and later moved to EF Pasadena, to enjoy sunny California.

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