This is a movie you must watch! It covers so many cultures- the culture of the American life in 1918, the culture of the German opera, and the culture of war. It appears to be a simple movie, but there are so many messages at several levels that come at you. I could easily watch it again. The German opera that the teacher shares with the students is a story within the story. It is a running theme and parallels what is going on in the story.
I was amazed at the acting of the young Helmut and his sister Brigitta, the two orphans from the war that lived with the pastor. They embodied everything that was good. The prejudice against them felt real, but over time, because of their good actions, people saw them for who they really were, and not for the country they came from. The running theme of the basket ball and playing to win money for the harvester was a good plot. Overall a gem of a movie!