The Rubble Film, Wolfgang Staudte, and Postwar German Cinema: Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are among Us, Wolfgang Staudte, 1946)
In 1946, German film director Wolfgang Staudte knocked on the doors of the commanders in charge of occupied Berlin to receive a license for a film entitled Der Mann den ich töten werde (The Man I Am Going to Kill). His idea was rejected in the three Western sectors; in the Soviet sector, however, he was granted the license to shoot what became the first German feature film made after World War II. When it premiered under the title Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are among Us) on October 15, 1946, it represented the first feature film by the newly founded Deutsche Filmaktiengesellschaft (DEFA). Die Mörder became an instant success—and a timeless classic of German cinema, as its selection as sixth-most important film of German cinema attests to.1 The film continues to fascinate audiences, from the 1975 Berlin International Film Festival to moviegoers of the 2006 retrospective of DEFA cinema at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Many factors contributed to making this story set in postwar Berlin not only a milestone of DEFA but also of German cinema.
KeywordsSilent Film Instant Success Cultural Officer Nazi Concentration Camp Original Script
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