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Von Caligari zu Hitler: Das deutsche Kino im Zeitalter der Massen (2014)

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Focuses on the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) and its 'collective spirit' in cinema. The purpose of film as a cultural tool is examined. Based on celebrated sociologist Siegfried Kracauer's seminal book 'From Caligari to Hitler' (1947).


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Credited cast:
Rüdiger Suchsland ... Narrator (voice)
Hans Henrik Wöhler ... Narrator (voice)
... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
... Himself
... Himself
Thomas Elsaesser ... Himself
Eric D. Weitz ... Himself
Elisabeth Bronfen ... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Himself (archive footage)
... Herself (archive footage)
Brigitte Borchert ... Herself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
... Herself (archive footage)
... Herself (archive footage)
... Herself (archive footage)


"Metropolis" (1927), "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920), "M" (1931), "Nosferatu" (1922), "People on Sunday" (1930), "Berlin, Symphony of a Metropolis" (1927) all rank among the classics and most influential films of European Cinema. FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER tells the story of early German Cinema as the story of social and cultural upheaval in the first republic, between 1918 and 1933. Siegfried Kracauer, who wrote the groundbreaking book 'From Caligari to Hitler' (1947) on this 'Weimar Cinema', is a central figure, as is Fritz Lang, the most versatile of all Weimar directors. The viewer will encounter the cast members of the young Republic's stage: Marlene Dietrich, Louise Brooks, Emil Jannings, directors such as G.W.Pabst and F.W. Murnau, writers like Billy Wilder and many more - those who helped shape the new art of cinema. Written by Rüdiger Suchsland

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What does cinema know that we don't?


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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

28 May 2015 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Caligarista Hitleriin. Saksalainen elokuva massojen aikakaudella  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


[Suchsland on Von Caligari zu Hitler: Das deutsche Kino im Zeitalter der Massen (2014)] Youth, freedom, irony, curiosity: Weimar is Modernity at its best and 'the' time of German cinema: By far the prime and richest period of our filmmaking. Cinema mirrors the turbulent era of the Twenties. These movies had it all! But more or less everything of it is forgotten, reduced to two or three footnotes. I wanted to take us all on an adventurous trip to this lost time, a trip which should entertain, move, surprise and remind us all of an open wound in our past. Siegfried Kracauer, a forgotten genius of cultural critique, is the perfect guide to an era, which is fascinating in its contradictions. This fascination and, yes: my love for this time and its cinema, I hope to share. See more »


Features Asphalt (1929) See more »


Police Raid In St. Pauli (Razzia in St. Pauli)
Music composed by Kurt Levaal
Edited by Giuseppe Becce
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User Reviews

Great pictures from the Weimar Republic and its most famous movies marred by Postmodernist rhetoric
31 January 2018 | by See all my reviews

You'll get to see amazing pictures of 1920s and 30s Berlin and Germany and get to know a few influential movies of the Weimar Republic period of German cinema along with some less known examples in the latter half. Unfortunately the basis for the documentary and narration is based on Siegfried Kracauer's book "From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film" published in 1947, which is filled with Postmodernist gibberish and sociologist analysis and interpretation through a decidedly Frankfurt School lens describing the time period, directors, other people involved and the movies, often even self-contradictorily so. A few of the interviewees picked also don't seem to hold any deeper insights into the time period and it's questionable what they add to the documentary or for what reason they were chosen.

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