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Paul and Paula have had bad experiences with love: Paul is financially well off but has lost all affection for his wife, and Paula leads a troublesome life raising two children on her own. They meet and discover a strong passion for each other. Life seems like a dream when they're together - but their short flights from the burdens of reality are once and again interrupted by Paul's ties to family and career.Written by
Zeiten und Weiten
Music by Peter Gotthardt
Lyrics by Ulrich Plenzdorf & Peter Gotthardt
Performed by Puhdys
VEB Deutsche Schallplatten Berlin AMIGA See more »
Tweaking the system, but very gently
"Die Legende von Paul und Paula" (1973), co-written and directed by Heiner Carow, is a famous film in Germany. The story seems tame enough now--a young woman is dissatisfied with her life and takes active steps to improve it.
Angelica Domröse plays Paula, a single mother who has a dead-end job and no social life. Winfried Glatzeder portrays Paul, who is unhappily married and is drawn to the free-spirited Paula. (Glatzeder has been called East Germany's Jean-Paul Belmondo. He didn't look much like Belmondo, and wouldn't have struck me as leading man material. However, I don't know enough about East German cinema to be aware of his competition.)
I've been told that the reason for this film's popularity in East Germany was because it contained subtle criticism of the regime, as well as depicting some PG-13 sex. I know East German films were subject to strict censorship, and, as in any similar regime, directors inserted criticisms in ways that were necessarily very indirect and symbolic.
The problem is that this movie only works if you can think of how you would have viewed it in East Berlin in 1973. I don't believe it's strong enough to succeed on its own merits in 2006.
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