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7 user 4 critic

The Rabbit Is Me (1965)

Das Kaninchen bin ich (original title)
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 »

Director:

Kurt Maetzig

Writers:

Manfred Bieler (novel), Manfred Bieler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Angelika Waller Angelika Waller ... Maria Morzeck
Alfred Müller Alfred Müller ... Paul Deister
Ilse Voigt Ilse Voigt ... Tante Hete
Wolfgang Winkler Wolfgang Winkler ... Dieter Morzeck
Irma Münch Irma Münch ... Gabriele Deister
Rudolf Ulrich Rudolf Ulrich ... Grambow
Helmut Schellhardt Helmut Schellhardt ... Bürgermeister
Annemarie Esper Annemarie Esper ... Edith
Willi Schrade Willi Schrade ... Ulli
Willi Narloch Willi Narloch ... Oskar
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bernd Bartoczewski Bernd Bartoczewski ... Kriminalist
Maria Besendahl Maria Besendahl ... Wirtin (as Anna-Maria Besendahl)
Peter Borgelt Peter Borgelt ... Richter
Günter Drescher Günter Drescher ... Polizist
Christoph Engel Christoph Engel ... Major Hellmich
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Storyline

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 political reasons; she eventually confronts him with his opportunism and hypocrisy. It is a sardonic portrayal of the German Democratic Republic's judicial system and its social implications. The film was banned by officials as an anti-socialist, pessimistic and revisionist attack on the state. It henceforth lent its name to all the banned films of 1965, which became known as the "Rabbit Films." After its release in 1990, The Rabbit Is Me earned critical praise as one of the most important and courageous works ever made in East Germany. It was screened at The Museum of Modern Art in 2005 as part of the film series Rebels with a Cause: The Cinema of East Germany. Written by DEFA Film Library

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

East Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

26 October 1965 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rabbit Is Me See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deutsche Film (DEFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Banned before its premiere in East Germany. See more »

Connections

Featured in Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful indictment of DDR's legal system
24 November 2008 | by mlwehleSee all my reviews

What's surprising is not that "Das Kaninchen bin ich"'s viewing was banned in East Germany, but that its production was ever permitted in the first place. The film's plot is simple: their parents dead, apolitical nineteen-year-old Maria Morzeck and her brother Dieter live with their aunt. Maria works as a waitress, hoping to go to university to become a translator or travel agent, when Dieter is accused of unspecified acts against the state and jailed for three years. By chance Maria meets Paul Deister, the married judge who sentenced Dieter; judge and Maria proceed to fall in love and carry on a happy affair. What attracts Deister and Maria is never made apparent. The characters are under-developed, but Das Kaninchen's criticism of the DDR's legal system is multi-faceted and striking. At Dieter's trial the prosecutor clears the courtroom of all unauthorized spectators, supposedly in order to serve state security. When Maria asks why only she and her aunt are expelled while the other 20 members of the public remain, she's told the others were invited, leaving the viewer to wonder how many presumed common citizens are working for the Stasi. Such chilling questions regarding machinations of the state are raised with a wry humor which lends this film a delightful charm. Paul's character throughout remains a mystery to both the viewer and Maria. He seems to be a nice enough person, but then so does his wife – why is he cheating on her? Can Maria influence Paul to reduce Dieter's sentence? Paul was apparently harsh with Dieter out of genuine faith in the state apparatus, but how sincere are Paul's beliefs, how ideologically-driven are his actions really? Maria and Paul's actions and their motivations have personal and political aspects which only become clear with the film's dramatic conclusion.


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