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The Blum Affair - Affaire Blum
In detective-story style based on a 1926 German court case, this film portrays conservative nationalism prior to Hitler's rule. Dr. Blum, a Jewish manufacturer, is falsely accused of a murder. Even when the real killer's identity becomes evident, the state prosecutor refuses to accept Blum's innocence. One of few German…
Marriage in the Shadows - Ehe im Schatten
The first German feature film to explicitly address the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, Marriage in the Shadows called on Germans to accept collective responsibility for the crimes of the Third Reich. Stylistically, the production--in which many former Ufa artists were involved--blends classic melodrama in the Ufa style with…
The Axe of Wandsbek - Das Beil von Wandsbek
Hamburg, Germany 1934: An executioner is needed. Teetjen (Erwin Geschonneck) makes the biggest mistake of his life. Because his butcher shop is facing bankruptcy, he agrees to execute a group of political prisoners for the Nazis. Once this becomes known, Teetjen's life falls apart. The Axe of Wandsbek was the…
Somewhere in Berlin - Irgendwo in Berlin
After WWII, Berlin lies in ruins. For Gustav, Willi and their friends the rubble provides an adventurous, dangerous playground. For Gustav it also helps pass the time, as he longs for his father's return from a POW camp. One day a stranger arrives, looking helpless and hopeless... Gerhard Lamprecht built…
The Kaiser's Lackey - Der Untertan
This historical satire, based on Heinrich Mann's world-famous novel, Der Untertan, is ranked by film critics among the 100 Most Significant German Films of all time. In Mann's biting critique of conservative Wilhelmine Germany, written during WWI, Diederich Hessling learns an important lesson for an ambitious man: one must first…
The Story of Little Mook - Die Geschichte vom Kleinen Muck
Germany's most beloved and successful children's film classic takes you into the magical settings of the Arabian Nights. Wolfgang Staudte's lavish production and special effects carried on the legacy of the Ufa studios in Babelsberg. In a small town, a hunchbacked old man is teased, taunted and chased by the…
Rotation
The story of an apolitical working-class family that nevertheless gets drawn into collusion with Nazi policies. Rotation was awarded the Golden Leopard at the 1954 Locarno Film Festival and is ranked by film critics as one of Germany's 100 Most Important Films. Rotation portrays a German family and its support…
The Silent Star - Der schweigende Stern
The first science-fiction film brought out in East Germany, THE SILENT STAR is based on Stanislaw Lem's mysterious novel, The Astronauts (1951). In it, an international expedition is sent to Venus to decipher a message found in the Gobi desert - and discovers it is a declaration of war on…
Council of the Gods - Rat der Götter
Based on the records of the Nuremberg trial of the chemical giant IG Farben; a story about the collaboration between international corporations and Nazi scientists, whose research contributed to the death of millions. Musical score by Hanns Eisler, electronic sound by Oskar Sala (Hitchcock's The Birds) and script by Friedrich…
The Singing, Ringing Tree - Das Singende, Klingende Bäumchen
Based on a Grimm brothers' fragment, _The Singing, Ringing Tree_became a landmark in European children's filmmaking, where it was particularly beloved in Great Britain in the 1960s. (The English voice over is the BBC version.) The prince must find the singing, ringing tree in order to win the hand of…
Castles & Cottages - Schlösser und Katen
This two-part epic traces the development of a manor and farm in Mecklenburg, from the flight of its aristocratic landowners before the advancing Soviet troops in 1945, to just after the East German uprising of June 17, 1953, by which time it has become an agricultural cooperative. Powerful stories and…
The Murderers are Among Us - Die Mörder sind unter uns
Part of the Series: Reel Women in East German Film
In 1945, after three years in a concentration camp, the artist Susanne Wallner (Hildegard Knef) returns to a Berlin in ruins. Shot in the rubble of Berlin just a year after WWII, The Murderers Are among Us was the first film made in Germany after the war and has since…