Robert Siodmaks semidokumentarischer Spielfilm gilt als eines der wichtigsten Werke der ausgehenden Stummfilmzeit und gehört sicherlich zu den berühmtesten Vertretern der "Neuen Sachlichkeit". Der Film zeigt die Alltagserlebnisse junger Berliner – Christel, Wolf, Annie, Brigitte und Erwin – während eines Wochenendes, in dessen Mittelpunkt ein gemeinsamer Sonntagsausflug an den Nikolassee steht. Dokumentarische Aufnahme und dramaturgische Inszenierung verbinden sich hierbei zu einer modernen Momentaufnahme, die zugleich den Status Quo des Weimarer Kinos Ende der 1920er Jahre reflektiert.
Menschen am Sonntag is a 1930 German silent movie. It follows the lives of a group of residents of Berlin on a summer's day during the interwar period. Hailed as a work of genius, it is a pivotal film not only in the development of German cinema but also of Hollywood. The movie is subtitled "a film without actors" and was filmed over a succession of Sundays in the summer of 1929. The actors were amateurs whose day jobs were those that they portrayed in the film — the opening titles inform the audience that these actors have all returned to their normal jobs by the time of the film's release in February, 1930. They were part of a collective of young Berliners who wrote and produced the film themselves, on a shoestring budget. Menschen am Sonntag is notable for its portrayal of daily life in Berlin shortly before Adolf Hitler became Chancellor.
Kurt Gerron, who had a part in the movie, had left Nazi Germany with his wife and parents, first to Paris and then later to Amsterdam. He was offered employment in Hollywood by Peter Lorre and Josef von Sternberg's agency, but refused several times, one time allegedly because his potential employer did not offer first class tickets to America. It was to be a fatal decision: after the Wehrmacht occupied the Netherlands, he was interned in the transit camp at Westerbork before eventually being sent to Theresienstadt. There, he ran a cabaret to entertain the inmates. In 1944, Gerron was compelled by the Nazis to make a propaganda film showing the allegedly humane conditions at Therestienstadt for its Jewish internees. Entitled, Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt (The Führer Gives the Jews a City), it was still being filmed when Soviet troops overran the extermination camp at Majdanek in July 1944 and the world had confirmed proof of the mass extermination machine for the first time. This publicizing of the death camp led to the abandonment of the filming, since its propaganda value was now useless. This, in turn, eventually led to Gerron's deportation to Auschwitz on the final transport from Theresienstadt in October 1944. Gerron was gassed immediately upon arrival at Auschwitz; Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the gas chambers at Auschwitz to cease operation the very next day. The propaganda film, which we sell in our GERMAN PANORAMA series, exists only as an incomplete fragment.
SILENT FILM WITH GERMAN INTERTILES AND SWITCHABLE ENGLISH SUBTITLES. EXCELLENT DIGITAL QUALITY. APPROX. 74 MINS.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SWITCHABLE (SOFT) SUBTITLES WILL NOT SHOW UP WHEN VIEWING THE SAMPLE BELOW. IF YOU SEE SUBTITLES, THEN THEY ARE HARD-ENCODED (meaning, they cannot be turned off when viewing the film):