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Kuhle Wampe (1932) Script by Berthold Brecht; Hertha Thiele, Ernst Busch
Kuhle Wampe (1932) Script by Berthold Brecht; Hertha Thiele, Ernst Busch


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Product Code: KUH

This is a region-free DVD-R without case or artwork.

In German with English subtitles.

This film is also known as "Kuhle Wampe oder: Wem gehört die Welt?" and "Whither Germany?" The Bönike family live in a squalid tenement in Berlin in a period when German unemployment has doubled from 2 million to over 5 million.  Their son has not worked in over seven months, and is accused by his father of being a wastrel who has not tried hard enough to find employment.  In a moment of utter despair, the son jumps from their fourth floor window to his death, and the resultant misery leads to the family being evicted from their home and sent to the eponymous camp, Kuhle Wampe, where thousands of dispossessed Berliners already congregate. Although it was directed by Slatan Dodow, in truth the real auteur of this piece is Bertolt Brecht. This film was made made in 1932, the last full year of the Weimar Republic.

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4 of 5 Kuhle Wampe (1932) edited version December 3, 2016
Reviewer: Kenneth Orme from Ligonier, PA United States  
KUHLE WAMPE is an intriguing propaganda film intended to showcase social problems in the late period of the Weimar Republic. Much of the film's format reflects dynamic Russian editing and emphasizes group action rather than individual effort to bring about reforms. Hans Eisler's music grabs attention immediately with its unrelenting stridency and clamorous volume. Cinematography is above average and acting quite excellent, reflective of scripter Bertolt Brecht's expertise in handling actors. Slatan Dudow is credited as director, but interpolated songs and politically charged ambience seem to indicate Brecht himself was steering the ship. This version of the film appears to be the censored one running closer to seventy minutes than ninety. Definitely an educational experience.

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