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German Film

A Brief History


To understand the film of any country, one must look at the context in which films were produced. The motion picture can be used in many ways by different people or groups with a message to get across. Films can be government propoganda, entertainment, or art, but no matter which category a film is placed, one thing is certain of all films made: films, because they cost money to produce, are all made within a structure of politics and economics and ,therefore, carry a definite message. This site gives a brief description of 5 distinct periods of the German cinema with some represenative films from each period. My aim is to put present these films as texts which can be read only by considering the contexts to which they belong.

I have divided the study into 5 sections; The Formative years, Films of the Weimar Republic, Third Reich Propoganda Films, Post WWII Films, and The New German Cinema. Each period is defined by its own unique political agendas and methods of utilizing the power of the motion picture. Each section contains a brief summary of the period with some represenative films.

  1. The Formative Years
  2. Films of the Weimar Republic "The Golden Era"
  3. Third Reich Propoganda
  4. Post WWII Stagnation
  5. The New German Cinema
  6. Related Links
  7. Bibliography