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Introduction and Discussion with Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and a reception follow the screening.
GDR, 1958, 126 min., in German with English subtitles.
Directors: Kurt Maetzig, Günter Reisch Screenplay: Karl Georg Egel, Paul Wiens Cinematography: Joachim Hasler, Otto Merz, Music: Wilhelm Neef Cast: Günther Simon, Raimund Schelcher, Friedrich Wilhelm Will, Ulrich Thein, Hilmar Thate, Ekkehard Schall
A heroic epic work detailing the German Revolution that occurred at the end of WWI.
News of the Russian Revolution has swept the world, fueling rebellions on land and sea. Sailors Lobke and Kasten are sentenced to death for their political agitation, and when a member of the firing squad, the socialist sailor Steigert, cannot bring himself to shoot them, he is arrested. Steigert's friends receive Vladimir Lenin's call for global peace on board the Prince Heinrich.
With the end of the war approaching, the German Imperial Navy Command decides to send all its ships on a last-ditch suicide mission in the English Channel, giving rise to a mutiny in the port city of Kiel. This quickly spreads to become a revolution, but the sailors' political differences—they are Social Democrats, Independent Socialists, and Spartacists—ultimately cause the uprising to fail.
By early 1919, however, many of the rebel sailors can attend the founding congress of the new Communist Party of Germany.
(Source: DEFA Film Library)
Kurt Maetzig was a director and co-founder of the DEFA, who shaped almost half century of the German film history. His films, like „Ehe im Schatten“ (1947), „Der schweigende Stern“ (1960), „Das
Kaninchen bin ich“ (1965) or „Mann gegen Mann“ (1975) reflect the changeful story of the GDR cinema.
Kurt Maetzig studied in Munich and Paris. In 1946 he co-founded the DEFA and from 1954 to 1964 he was director of the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen „Konrad Wolf“, which he co-founded.
Presented in cooperation with The DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
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