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BRUDER (1929) * with switchable English and Spanish subtitles *

Werner Hochbaum Writer: Werner Hochbaum Stars: Gyula Balogh, Erna Schumacher, Ilse Berger
$13.99

By the end of the 1920s, the political and social situation in Germany had polarized to the point that Communists, Social Democrats and Nazis were daily battling one another in vicious street-fights, which, more often than not, swept innocent bystanders into the turmoil.  It was a life-and-death struggle for the mind and soul of a defeated and demoralized people and each ideology promised a utopian path out of the country's misery.

Co-produced by the Social Democratic Party and the dockers' labor union, Bruder attempted to show the prevailing misery not with a contemporary story, but by means of a pseudo-documentary allegory based on an event that took place in Hamburg's harbor in 1896 (namely, a massive strike of the harbor workers there). The film tells of the long hours and oppressive work of the proletariat, who spent almost their entire waking moments at their jobs for very little renumeration. While the SPD had little interest in being affiliated with the radical upheavals in Russia which began a mere ten years earlier, the style of this film is decidedly "Soviet revolutionary", with amazing parallels to similar films made in the USSR in the 1920s. While communist ideology in Germany in the 1920s called for an overthrow of the existing social system, there is no such call for that in this film. There is, however, a call for a unified social consciousness to combat exploitation of the masses and to strive for a betterment of the lives of working class people. This, no doubt, better served the propaganda of the Communist Party than that of "moderate" parties like the SPD, which didn't stand a chance in the radical atmosphere of constant and violent social upheavals in Weimar Germany. 

DVD-R is in German with switchable English and Spanish subtitles.  Approx. 83 mins.  See video sample for picture and audio quality!

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