Post War German Cinema

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Eric Rentschler writes that post-war German cinema envisions “a better future and work beyond (if not through) the experiences of the Third Reich, a past that, in crucial regards, refused to go away.” In fact, postwar german cinema seem to portray the city as a space of ambiguity, where the people continue to thrive in even the poorest, most ravaged of neighborhoods (A Foreign Affair, 1948) and, on the other hand, shows as a space of reconstruction and rehabilitation (Murderers Among Us, 1946). Under other most notable conditions, cinema also interprets Berlin as a place of separation and duality (The Legend of Paul and Paula, 1973). The city is fragmented, disassembled and rearranged into multi-avenue and diverse spaces, a force structured …show more content…

The city is therefore as much a shell as any of the heavily bombed buildings. However when a building is decimated and repurposed, there is of course an activated notion of this divide between its past function and the present condition. Romantic films like A Foreign Affair use this motif to yearn for the past, finding its perch in these transitioning sites and also as a point of subdued fascination for a space which seem to employ time differently. Later films like The Legend of Paul and Paula use the divided motif to represent a sense of duality in the setting as well as in the characters. Putting aside romanticism, what is found in Paul and Paula is an attempt to locate a duality that deeply reflects the legacy of modernity. Aspects of Berlin are diametrically dilated somehow, where spaces also becomes the embodiment of a much larger, more complicated headway. Decimated buildings, which behave as transitory fixatives and as visual duality to a distant time, are either anthropomorphized or romanticized through an aesthetic that pampers to a warping of

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