Screening on Film
Directed by G.
With Alexander Granach, Fritz Kampers, Daniel Mendaille.
Germany/France, 1931, 35mm, black & white, 93 min.
German and French with English subtitles.
Print source: British Film Institute

At a time of rising nationalism in Germany, the great G.W. Pabst turned to the contested border with France to make a classic about solidarity that transcends such considerations. The film is set just after World War I in a mine that finds itself divided between Germany and France by the Treaty of Versailles. A fire in the French side of the mine threatens workers, but the presence of the border complicates their rescue. Will patriotism trump comradeship? History records that Pabst’s hopeful fable went tragically unheeded.

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Grand Illusions
The Cinema of World War I

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