Edward Berger’s All Quiet on the The Western Front triumphed at the Oscars on Sunday, winning four awards, including for Best International Feature Film. The movie was the second-biggest winner of the event in Los Angeles after Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The German-language movie, a new adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel of the same name, talks to the present through a period drama about soldiers pushed into a punishing battle. The film’s themes include the impact of war on soldiers, the role played by propaganda in encouraging young men to become cannon fodder, and the brutality of the battlefield itself.
Apart from being highly topical in the light of Russia’s military assault on Ukraine, the Netflix release has especially been praised for its immersive, intensely detailed depictions of trench warfare.
The movie won Oscars for cinematography and production design. In this behind-the-scenes video, Berger and his team reveal the rigorous preparations that went into the production, which includes picking the locations, drawing storyboards of the trenches, and training the actors to perform convincingly as soldiers.