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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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
A young woman's wedding becomes a ritual of mourning when her sister and family die in an auto accident on the way to the wedding. The sisters' mother refuses to accept her daughter's death... See full summary »
Lymberis, a poor builder, has three sons: disabled Antonis, who lost both his hands during the German occupation, from a grenade explosion, bad-tempered Giagos, desperately seeking for a ... See full summary »
Madame Rosa lives in a sixth-floor walkup in the Pigalle; she's a retired prostitute, Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor, a foster mom to children of other prostitutes. Momo is the oldest and... See full summary »
Set on the eve of the 1907 peasants' revolt and told from the eyes of an orphaned boy, it is the story of the poverty, hardships, oppression and abuses that ordinary Romanian peasants were subjected to during that period.
Baruch Mayr, son of an orthodox rabbi from a poor shtetl in Galizia, decides to break with the family tradition and leave the shtetl to become an actor. Due to this behaviour his father ... See full summary »
Ewald André Dupont
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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