This example of cinema vérité was shot in Saint Pauli, the red light district of Hamburg. Indeed, the local police district and the working girls of the area are credited.
The story, such as it is, concerns Friedrich Gnaß -- he has a sort of Paul Muni look to him -- who spots a trinket in a jewelry window, performs a bit of smash-and-grab, and flees into the Saint Pauli district, where no one thinks of anything but the moment -- if indeed, that much. The film-makers don't glorify their subjects, but neither do they look down on them. Indeed, there is no emotional center to the movie, yet it easily maintains interest, thanks to some beautiful compositions by cinematographer A.O. Weitzenberg and excellent editing by Carl Behr.
There are a few musical interludes, and a final number which can only be called a paean to hopelessness. The last is apparently to give some gravitas to the entire affair, but the effect tends to make the rest of the movie seem a bit ridiculous. Still, the rest of the movie has enough of interest to make this a superior work.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?