TV mini series in five parts, literary filming of Theodor Fontane's books. Cinematic testimony of a bygone time giving an impression of East German reality in 1985.
In 1985, four years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, West German film director Eberhard Itzenplitz filmed in the East German region "Mark Brandenburg". Klaus Schwarzkopf, unforgettable German actor, whose characteristic voice is well remembered since he dubbed many Hollywood stars (e.g. Peter Falk in inspector Columbo), reads passages from Theodore Fontane's famous multipart item "Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg" while the original places described by Fontane are being visited. Although many of the places are not much different from the way they were at Fontane's time a hundred years earlier there is a remarkable contrast between the 19th century poetic language and the accompanying images of East German every day life. Exemplary for Itzenplitz' technique is the picture of diabetics taking a cure at the gone to rack sanatory Rheinsberg Castle (an important prucian castle where King Frederick II ("the Great") spent his youth) accompanied by Fontane's detailed description of architecture, art and former finery of the building. These scenes alternate with anecdotes from the books excellently played by German theater actors. Birger Heymann's gorgeous music is omnipresent in all five parts and puts the spectator in a deeply relaxed and sometimes slightly melancholic mood allowing him to fully focus on Fontane's beautiful language so pleasingly read by the speaker. A sublime piece of literary filming and all the more a great pity that it is still not available on DVD.
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