That such a classic has no comment at all is beyond me;yes,the director gives an unfriendly (and probably a bit overblown) look at the peasants ;but after all Emile Zola did the same when he wrote "La Terre".
"Jagdszenen" depicts an enclosed microcosm where no deviancy is allowed;three inhabitants do not conform to the norm: the village idiot (but it's not his fault) ,Hannelore (but men are happy when she sleeps with them so she is useful as the local prostitute :Angela Winkler ,the future star of "die Verlonere Ehre Der Katharina Blum" and " die Blechtrommel" ,handled her part with superb sensuality and sensitivity) and supposedly gay Abram (probably gay ,for the scene with his young mentally-retarded pal leaves no doubt).Do these crude peasants know there is a world outside their village?The director films a jet plane crossing the sky and the highway .To these people ,these things seem to come from another planet.
Only Abram is "dangerous" ,he is the one to get rid of ;even the schoolteacher -who appears very briefly though- does not side with him ;intolerance runs rampant everywhere and the inhabitants blame the mother -herself ashamed of her disgusting offspring- :had he been carefully brought up,that is to say with kicks up his backside ,he would be "normal " today.
The "hunting" (Jagd) becomes a metaphor for fascism :in 1969,WW2 was not far behind ;homosexuals were sent to concentration camps like Jews and gypsies,and ...mentally retarded people were butchered like lambs in a slaughter ,there's a similar kill-the-beast scene in Siodmak's "Nachts,Wenn Der Teufel Kam"(1957).
The ending rivals the best of Billy Wilder:like in "ace in the hole"aka " the big carnival" (1952) ,people gather for the feast as we hear the pom-pom of the music ,an ideal soundtrack to the populace's incredible stupidity.
A scene not for the squeamish: the killing of the pig,a scene Bernardo Bertolucci would copy for his "Novecento".
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?