Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Trümmerfilme: 15 films in 4 days
"Rubble Films" are the films that were shot in the ruins of Germany, with the rubble as a background. Only a few deal with Nazi past, many deal with contemporary issues (food shortage, black market, housing shortage, war veterans). Some are comedies, some are dramas. These are mostly films that you can't watch many other places. There are only a handful that you can get outside of an archive, in normal video rentals or libraries (Die Mörder sind unter uns is the most famous, from 1946, and is widely available. It was the first post-war film). So it's an amazing resource.
It's not as fun as it may sound, though. Some of the films are good, but not all of them. Some are quite boring and the DEFA films can be a little heavy-handed on the socialist optimism. I really enjoyed Kein Platz für Liebe, No Space/Place for Love. It's a comedy about a couple that was married via long-distance during the war (fern getraut), and now that they are reunited they can't find any privacy in postwar Berlin (housing shortage, etc). They go to the Tiergarten to sit on a park bench, and just as they're about to kiss some guy accuses them of stealing vegetables (they turned the Tiergarten into aa veg garden after the war). They tell him that they're married, and he just laughs at the idea that a married couple would be kissing on a park bench. ha! I'm learning lots about 1940s social norms :). Unfortunately, some of the film and sound quality isn't that great, so that also adds a bit of complication. Three more films to go tomorrow, then I get my much-needed vacation. :)
Here is some rare film footage of Berlin after the war: