Germany

Maximilian Schell – Der Richter und sein Henker AKA End of the Game AKA Murder on the Bridge (1975)

Synopsis:
While investigating a high-profile murder case, a savvy but unorthodox veteran police inspector has to cope with a bad conscience, bad health, an overzealous partner, a timid superior and interference from political interests. This is an existential whodunit, but a good one, and like any good whodunit, ends with a very surprising conclusion, which will be spoiled for you if you read much of anything at all about the movie. Read More »

Jean-Marie Straub – Einleitung zu Arnold Schoenbergs Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielscene AKA Introduction to Arnold Schoenberg’s Accompaniment to a Cinematic Scene (1973)

Music: Arnold Schoenberg, Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielscene, opus 34, 1929-1930.
Words: Schoenberg’s letters to Wassily Kandinsky (April the 20th and Mai the 4th 1923), Bertold Brecht’s speech at the “Congrès international des Intellectuels contre le fascisme”, (Paris 1935). Read More »

Ewald André Dupont – Das alte Gesetz aka This Ancient Law (1923)

Baruch Mayr, son of an orthodox rabbi from a poor shtetl in Galizia, decides to break with the family tradition and leave the shtetl to become an actor. Due to this behaviour his father bans him from his family. Baruch, who joined a small burlesque troupe is discovered by an Austrian Erzherzogin (archdutchess) who introduces him to the director of the most important Theater in Vienna, the Burgtheater. Baruch receives a contract there and becomes more and more an assimilated jew. Read More »

Konrad Wolf – Mama, ich lebe AKA Mama, I’m Alive (1977)

Four young Germans in a Soviet POW camp decide to join the Red Army to hasten the end of the war. Their new identities elicit different reactions from Germans and Russians and are difficult to live up to when they are sent behind German lines.
Quote:
A POW camp in the Soviet Union. Four young Germans exchange their uniforms to fight alongside the former enemy for a quicker end to the war. In Soviet uniform they drive with their caregiver on the train to the front. The fellow traveler does not hide long that they are German. It is not easy for them to cope with the new identity. Read More »

Helke Sander – BeFreier und BeFreite AKA Liberators Take Liberties (1992)

Quote:
Helke Sander interviews multiple German women who were raped in Berlin by Soviet soldiers in May 1945. Most women never spoke of their experience to anyone, due largely to the shame attached to rape in German culture at that time. She documents the pregnancies, abortions, illegitimate children that resulted, as well as the break down in family relationships, the stigmatization these women experienced, and mental and physical duress these women underwent at the time of the rapes and as treaties were passed between the German and Soviets that never mentioned reparations for the rapes. Read More »

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Lothringen! (1994)

Quote:
In this 20-minute film, Jean Marie-Straub, who was born in Metz, Lorraine, unfolds the changing history of his homeland, a country torn by different wars and states. Victories are defeats and vice versa, and the land is saturated with iron, coal and blood. “Lothringen!” (“Lorraine”) is Straub’s personal account of “How Green was my Valley”, a lesson in topographical land survey and history. Read More »

Josef Mach – Die Söhne der großen Bärin AKA The Sons of Great Bear (1966)

Although the Indians were assured their lands adjacent to the Black Hills by contract, the Whites want to expel them. Meanwhile, gold has been discovered there and the unscrupulous settler, Red Fox, demands of Mattotaupa, chief of the Bears Clan belonging to the Dakota tribe, to reveal to him the location of a cave with gold deposits. Mattotaupa refuses and is stabbed to death by Red Fox in the presence of his son Tokei-ihto. Lieutenant Roach orders Tokei-ihto to Fort Smith in order to negotiate. The son of the slain chief suspects that the Whites are planning an ambush, a fear that is confirmed when he encounters Red Fox there. Read More »