7.3/10
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1 user 2 critic

Ich bin ein Elefant, Madame (1969)

The pupil Rull rehearses the uprising at a grammar school in Bremen and tries to break through the authoritarian structures of his school. The result is a humorous protest movement that demands a democratic school form.

Director:

Peter Zadek

Writers:

Wolfgang Menge (screenplay), Robert Muller (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Heinz Baumann Heinz Baumann ... Dr. Nemitz
Wolfgang Schneider Wolfgang Schneider ... Rull - schoolboy
Guido Baumann Guido Baumann ... Interviewer
Margot Trooger ... Mrs. Nemitz
Günther Lüders Günther Lüders ... Dr. Hartmann
Tankred Dorst Tankred Dorst ... Violat
Peter Palitzsch Peter Palitzsch ... Fiege
Rolf Becker ... Rohwedder
Werner Dahms Werner Dahms ... Wieland
Robert Dietl Robert Dietl ... Mueller-Frank
Maja Eigen Maja Eigen ... Billa - schoolgirl
Ilja Richter ... Haverkamp - schoolboy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rudolf Jürgen Bartsch Rudolf Jürgen Bartsch ... Billa's father
Hans-Walter Clasen Hans-Walter Clasen ... Rull's father (as Hans W. Clasen)
Helmut Erfurth Helmut Erfurth ... Beckmann
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Storyline

The pupil Rull rehearses the uprising at a grammar school in Bremen and tries to break through the authoritarian structures of his school. The result is a humorous protest movement that demands a democratic school form.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

6 March 1969 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

I'm an Elephant, Madame See more »

Filming Locations:

Bremen, Germany

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating reflection of its time
11 July 2002 | by Stefan KahrsSee all my reviews

This comedy drama is a fascinating reflection of its time - its changing values and attitudes, how society reacted to it, how different individuals managed to adapt. The genre description "comedy drama" is not entirely accurate, but it's the closest I could think of. There is no drama/comedy plot in the usual sense. We follow a class of students in their last year at school (6th form is the nearest UK equivalent), their lessons, their protests, their private life. There are a few occasions when the film drifts from realism beyond wackiness into surrealism, and surprisingly Margot Trooger is one of the director's favourite vehicles for that.

The end product lacks some coherence, but it is full of strong and telling moments. The way Dr Nemitz elegantly rebuffs a classroom revolt, the English teacher discovered as a lightweight, Rowedder parking his jeep (complete with communist flag) directly in front of a no-stopping sign - these are just a few of many memorable scenes.

I think of the film with considerable personal fondness: it was filmed at (and in) Altes Gymnasium Bremen, the very school I went to three years after this film was made. The style of the lessons portrayed in the film so accurately reflected the particular (and admittedly somewhat peculiar) style prevalent at this school that Zadek either must have watched real classes at the AG beforehand or used teachers and students from this school as advisors, if not both. There is evidence for the latter: I can assert that the dispute which students are allowed to go to the baker's shop (and when) was still going on for years to come.


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