Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
In 1984, Anna Wimschneider, a woman who had been a farmgirl in Bavaria during World War Two published an autobiography which focused on her life during that period, and it became a huge bestseller. Her story, Herbstmilch, is brought to the screen by her fellow Bavarian, director Joseph Vilsmaier. At the beginning of the story, Anna (Dana Vavrova) is the oldest daughter of a widowed farmer, and toils ceaselessly looking after her father and her many younger brothers. She abandons her dream of becoming a nurse when she falls in love with and marries her neighbor, Albert (Werner Stucker), who is also a farmer. Before she can get too used to things, her new husband is drafted, and she is left as the only completely able-bodied person on the farm, and must support not only her hostile mother-in-law, but a whole host of new aunts and uncles. Enduring even more incredible and backbreaking labor on this primitive farm than on her father's farm, and pregnant, somehow she survives. Both Anna and her beloved Albert appear in significant cameos in this film.