Ex-GDR citizen Dr. Otto Skrodt is about to become an important politician in Bonn when his old friend Karl shows up to ask him for some financial help. Karl had been imprisoned in the GDR ... See full summary »
Ex-GDR citizen Dr. Otto Skrodt is about to become an important politician in Bonn when his old friend Karl shows up to ask him for some financial help. Karl had been imprisoned in the GDR because of a denunciation of Otto who was an IM for the Staatssicherheit. Otto believes that Karl found out that he was the IM and that he will blackmail him for that... Written by
Manfred Krug started his career as a film star in East Germany, when it was still a Leninist state. He played in outstanding DEFA movies like "Fuenf Patronenhuelsen", "Beschreibung eines Sommers" and "Spur der Steine". There he plays the tough guy with a heart of gold, albeit without political passions. In other words, he is very much the sensitive version of the John Wayne type. The dedicated party girls fall like flies for his charms ("Did you know my uncle Bob died in this bed?"). His appealing style makes these somewhat ideological films quite palatable. Even in "Wege uebers Land" and "Daniel Druskat" he manages to give the system a human face and credibility. Citation from John Wayne: "if you got them by their balls, their hearts and minds will follow". So I was curious to see his appearance in a film made by West-German producers. The film dates from 1994, after the fusion of the two states. At the time the West-Germans, as the informal victors, were still trying to belittle the abolished Leninist society. They even demolished prestigious buildings! Capitalism: survival of the fattest. Der Blaue forms a part of this effort, and as such has a clear ideological content. The main characters are all inhabitants of the former Leninist state, which is portrayed as a surveillance society. They carry a history that is characterized by mutual mistrust and deceit. Skrodt, the person played by Krug, is about to become a member of parliament in the new united state. But he is perhaps the most ruthless and sneaking character of them all. He is adamant - the very first insect (joke). It is suggested that he has cooperated with the Leninist secret service. In this way the film makers seem to advise, that the antecedents of East-German politicians should be especially carefully scrutinized. Of course in the present times, twenty years later, the Leninist state looks like a haven of privacy. We live in a society, where minorities are constantly scanned by computers and satellites, because they could be terrorists. If you use internet at your local library, don't be surprised when the personnel reads your e-mails. So who cares? what remains in Der Blaue is a heard of individuals, who spy on each other, lie, blackmail, and make threats even about life and death. Nothing is what it seems. The truth is non-existent, because each person has his own account. They let the chat out of the bag. At the end the viewer still doesn't know who are the culprits and who are the victims. The narrative leaves no room for sympathy or even empathy, and certainly not for the Krug character. He is selfish and wouldn't share a sprat. It is morbid and most gloomy. Ponder about that. There is a distinct contrast with the older Krug films, where humans are weak but good, and protected from evil by the party. Citation from George Burns: "Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made". Ulrich Muehe plays another main character, Kaminsky, and also originates from East-Germany. He is known from the cynical film "Das Leben der Anderen", another post-fusion ideological produce. Der Blaue is colorful, but I prefer films with a somewhat more constructive message. Extra information: DEFA always stands for craftsmanship (but don't let it go about).
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