Anti-Nazi Classics Vol. 2
A film by Wolfgang Staudte
Ranked as one of Germany's most important films ever, Rotation is the story of a German family that becomes divided over supporting the Nazis. The father considers joining the Nazi party purely to improve his finances. But after he helps print resistance leaflets, his son, a Hitler Youth member, betrays him. After the war father and son meet again.
Another Wolfgang Staudte (The Murderers Are Among Us) classic, Rotation was awarded with the Golden Leopard at the 1954 Locarno Film Festival, and censored by the Soviets because of its pacifist message and footage from Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia.
(1949; 84 minutes; B&W; German w/English subtitles)
Council of the Gods
A film by Kurt Maetzig
Based on testimony from the Nuremberg Trial of chemical giant I.G. Farben, this is the story of the collaboration between international corporations and Nazi scientists, whose research contributed to the death of millions. The film focuses on a chemist who embraces political neutrality, closing his eyes to the fact that poison is being produced in his factory - poison to be used in the gas chambers of the concentration camps.
Featuring the electronic sounds of Oskar Sala (Hitchcock's The Birds), the film is powerful in its depiction of the moral dilemmas of the war, as well as of Cold War propaganda.
(1950; 111 minutes; B&W; German w/English subtitles)
Axe of Wandsbek, The:
A film by Falk Harnack
Germany 1934: the Nazis need a hangman to put a group of political prisoners to death. Teetjen, the town butcher, makes the biggest mistake of his life: facing bankruptcy, he agrees to do the dirty deed.
The Axe of Wandsbek was the only DEFA film made by Falk Harnack, a former anti-Nazi resistancefighter, who was interested in exploring the involvement of the middle class in Nazi crimes. It was the first East German film ever to be banned. The film is adapted from one of the most important works by German Jewish author Arnold Zweig; basing the story on a real event, Zweig wrote the novel in 1943, in exile in Palestine. Script by Wolfgang Staudte (The Murderers Are Among Us, Rotation, The Kaiser's Lackey).
(1951; 111 minutes; B&W; German w/English subtitles)
Adventures of Werner Holt, The
A film by Joachim Kunert
WINNER! Special Prize, 1966 Carthage Film Festival
WINNER! Special Prize, 1965 Moscow Film Festival
WINNER! Special Diploma, 1965 Edinburgh Film Festival
Presented at the 1965 Cannes International Youth Film Festival
Two 17 year-olds, Werner and his best friend Gilbert, are pulled out of school and into Hitler's army. While Gilbert becomes a fanatical soldier, Werner begins to understand the senselessness of war. A political and artistic masterpiece, the film was voted one of the 100 most important German films of all time.
(1964; 164 minutes; B&W; German w/English subtitles)