Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kuhle Wampe or Who Owns The World? (1932)

Bertolt Brecht's film about the state of Germany and else where at the height of the depression and just before Hitler took power..

Beginning with a young man coming home after being unable to find work. He is abused by his parents who feel he hadn't done enough. He then leaps to his death from one of the windows. As the daughter searches for work the family is evicted and they end up in a tent camp,Kuhle Wampe, where she has a friend who sleeps with her. Complications radiate outward and she eventually moves back to Berlin and joins the youth movement.

Very intellectual in it's construction it is also extremely emotional in effect. We feel for these people.We feel their loss and their hope. We see the world they live in and understand it...

The film itself is an amazing piece of artistry. The film blends a variety techniques and styles to produce just the right effect. There is a marvelous blending of words and music in a variety of montages such as the best years of a young man's life one.

If the film has any real flaw it's that the films drifting into political territory in the last half hour over powers the human story at times. I understand the politics that inspired the film but at the same time it makes the film less likely to force it's audience into action.

Ultimately I do like the film, with my feelings for strongest before the film turns very political to the point I'm disappointed that the human story never comes to even a satisfactory conclusion. Its not fatal, it just makes what was going to be one of my finds of the year into something much more mundane---though very much worth checking out.

Very much worth seeing. Currently out on DVD. I got my copy from German War Films, though the film is available for viewing on a link at IMDB.

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