Diederich Heßling is scared of everything and everyone. But as he grows up, he comes to realize that he has to offer his services to the powers-that-be if he wants to wield power himself. ...
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The Rabbit Is Me was made in 1965 to encourage discussion of the democratization of East German society. In it, a young student has an affair with a judge who once sentenced her brother for... See full summary »
The film tells the story of the blond "singing sailor" Hannes Kröger who works in a St. Pauli club on the Große Freiheit 7, and falls in love with a girl. But she prefers his rival Willem and Hannes returns to the sea.
April 1945: Gregor Hecker, 19 years of age, reaches the outskirts of Berlin as part of the Red Army's scouting team. Having fled Germany with his family when he was eight, he is confronted ... See full summary »
A filmmaker tracing the steps of Swedish explorer Erland Nordeskiold travels with a Guarani Indian from the highlands of La Paz to the swamps in the forests of South Eastern Bolivia, a ... See full summary »
Juan Carlos Valdivia
Juan Carlos Valdivia,
After almost 50 years, Holocaust survivor Henryk Grynberg visits the village he grew up in. He was also hiding there during the Nazi occupation. Grynberg wants to know what happened to his father and younger brother during the war.
An upper middle-class French family celebrates a birthday in a restaurant. In one evening and during one meal, family history, tensions, collective and separate grudges, delights, and ... See full summary »
In order to save Jewish girl from the Nazis and their colaborators, Croatian family arranges her to be wed to their young son. Young man is displeased with sudden end to his careless youth ... See full summary »
April 1945. Because he stole two boxes of chocolate, the soldier Rudi is sentenced to death by the court-martial judge Dr. Schramm. Rudi manages to escape from the firing squad at the last ... See full summary »
Ingrid van Bergen
In a remote village in South India, three generations of sons react to the death of Century Gowda, their grandfather, a 101-year-old man. The three story lines intertwine before converging ... See full summary »
The story of a solitary man who refuses to leave a Greek island (at one time a leper colony) is told by a strange variety of characters who don't have much to say except to repeat their ... See full summary »
Diederich Heßling is scared of everything and everyone. But as he grows up, he comes to realize that he has to offer his services to the powers-that-be if he wants to wield power himself. His life motto now runs: bow to those at the top and tread on those below. In this way, he always succeeds: as a student in a duel-fighting student fraternity and as a businessman in a paper factory. He cajoles the obese district administrative president Von Wulkow and wins his favor. He slanders his financial rivals and hatches a plot with the social democrats in the town council. On his honeymoon with his rich wife Guste, he finally finds a chance to do his beloved Kaiser a favor. And when a memorial to the Kaiser is unveiled in the town where Diederich lives and works, he delivers the address. He stands behind the lectern in the pouring rain, saluting his Kaiser. The crowd is dispersed. Everything is laid in ruins...Written by
"Der Untertan" (1951), directed by star-director Wolfgang Staudte, is based on a novel by Heinrich Mann (1871-1950) as "Der Blaue Engel" (1930), directed by Josef Von Sternberg, is. While in "Der Blaue Engel", the protagonist is a person who cannot adapt to the world around him, and when he tries, shamefully stumbles and at the end pays his attempts with his life, the main figure in "Der Untertan" is so-to-say the complimentary character: Although born in an aristocratic, high-class family, surrounded by the world-literature and regular house-concerts and thus widely detached from bourgeoisie, he finds out that he may make carrier by breaking out of this status-group isolation in trying to meddle with politics. He also finds out that for him, the best way is to put hand over hand along the rope that leads upwards while kicking the ones who are coming below him. The result is, however, that he blunders not only in public but often also in his private life. The film has an interesting, yet totalitarian and typical GDR-end which kind of disturbs the otherwise excellently crafted master-piece for which Werner Peters in the role of Dr. Hessling and the director of the film got the Great GDR-State Price.
This movie and an extremely impressive list of some hundreds of titles more, meanwhile practically the collected works of the DEFA, the state film company of the former GDR or DDR, we owe to the Department of German Studies of the University of Massachusets at Amherst that has obviously taken over the legacy to maintain and foster the gigantic film work of the "other" Germany which has ceased to exist in 1990.
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