Synopsis by Louis Schwartz
Germany Year Nine Zero follows an old spy's journey back to France from the east. Since the Cold War has ended the spy is unclear about who his enemies are, and he doesn't know what to do with himself. Jean-Luc Godard's film is a series of scenes that present his thoughts on European unification and the fall of Communism. The title harkens back to Roberto Rossellini's Germany Year Zero, a film made in the immediate aftermath of World War II that, like Godard's film, considered the fate of the world in changing political conditions. As his use of Rossellini's title suggests, Godard is concerned with the fate of cinema as well as the fate of the world. He is concerned that as borders are erased, and as the world comes more and more under the sway of corporate power, the cinema will become more and more homogenized and commercial.