Kuhle Wampe oder Wem gehört die Welt
Under great material difficulties, the young director Slatan Dudow produced one of the few unambiguously communist films during the Weimar Republic, ‘Kuhle Wampe oder Wem gehört die Welt’, based on a script by Bertolt Brecht and Ernst Ottwalt. Around a fourth of the scenes had to be completed in just two days. The film was censored, immediately after it appeared, by the film censorship office in Berlin. Brecht writes: «The contents and intention of the film are best revealed by the citation of reasons why it was banned by the censors.» Following fierce protests, the film was shortly thereafter granted a projection permit, albeit with the condition that certain scenes of the film remained banned.
‘Kuhle Wampe oder Wem gehört die Welt’ narrates the story of a jobless Berlin working-class family that can no longer pay the rent for its flat and therefore moves to the allotment gardens ‘Kuhle Wampe’. The abolishment of unemployment benefits for youths results in the suicide of the only son, Franz, who fails to connect with the struggling workers. When the daughter, Annie, confides in her boyfriend Fritz, who is also jobless, that she is pregnant, they decide to marry. But the marriage already fails during the course of the wedding ceremonies. They meet again at a sports festival and experience the power of proletarian solidarity.
DE 1932, 35mm, 78 min, OF