19 December 2005

Sun Seekers (Sonnensucher, East Germany, 1958)

First my own impression of this film: an interesting take on the situation of the mining area of Wismut in Germany. The outdoor scenes are interesting, clearly describing daily life for those who lived there, but the dialogues are really bad, you get lots of Russians trying to speak German. There are a lot of hidden messages and symbolism in the language and words they use, but the whole dialogue scenes are not coherent at all, it is like listening to different excerpts from Lenin or Stalin speaking: not very inspiring these days, to be honest.

Now the experts:
"Sun Seekers was banned in 1958 at the urging of the USSR, since it treats Soviet/German relations in mining uranium in the GDR's Wismut region, to support the nuclear arms race. Encouraged by the "thaw" promised by the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, Konrad Wolf's film presents a highly dramatic and differentiated view of the Nazi past, Stalinist political practices, and the energetic chaos of the early postwar period. The film's style combines Wolf's Russian sensibilities with echoes of Italian neo-realism as well as Pabst's Kameradschaft (1931). Releasing this film was one of Wolf's first priorities when a new regime took power in the GDR in 1972..." DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

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