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A working-class family in Berlin in 1931 where survival is difficult, with massive unemployment in the wake of the Great Depression. After Anni's brother commits suicide in despair, her family finds itself forced to move to Kuhle Wampe, a lakeside camp on the outskirts of Berlin, now home to increasing numbers of unemployed. When Anni's relationship with Franz ends, she moves back to Berlin and gets involved in the workers' youth movement. Written by
DEFA Film Library
The only communist film to come out of Weimar Germany
The title refers to a tent camp for the dispossessed set up in the countryside near to Berlin. Kuhle Wampe is still a "real existing" place and is located in near the Müggelsee, a huge lake on the East of Berlin. Kuhle Wampe signifies "cool belly", but in Berlin dialect it means "empty belly". Kuhle Wampe is one of the must-have-seen movies of the Weimar Republic (like "M"). The script was conceived and written by Bertolt Brecht (even partly directed) and Ernst Ottwalt. Hitler came to power only nine months after the premiere of Kuhle Wampe in May 1932, and wasted little time in banning this charming and subversive film. The film was banned and disappeared for decades. Even for non-communists this masterpiece is worth watching.
'Who will change the world?' - 'Those who don't like it.'
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