Minggu, 29 Mei 2011

Martin Hellberg - Thomas Müntzer [+Extras] (1956)

Thuringia, 1525: The south of Germany experienced one of the few great popular movements in German history - the Peasants' War. This opulent historical film describes the fate of the priest Thomas Müntzer, who becomes the leader of the revolt and the Reformation in Germany. He boldly advocates the teachings of Martin Luther, but while the latter turns away from the masses, Müntzer is active as their advocate. But even he can not avert the fateful defeat...

-- Icestorm

The communist leadership of East Germany, in its attempts to create a unifying narrative for the citizens of their country, attempted to portray the history of the land as a chain of events which developed according to the rules Marxism-Leninism, leading unavoidably to the consolidation of Socialist power in the state. The figure of the preacher Thomas Müntzer held an especially important status in the eyes of the establishment, both because of his radical theology (which was regarded as a precursor to Communism) and his recognition by Friedrich Engels, who viewed him as a revolutionary leader, as stated in Engels' book, The Peasant War in Germany.

The film was one of 13 'heritage films' created by the DEFA studio during the 1950 about important historical characters whose legacy was deemed important by the state, like Johannes Kepler and Georg Büchner. Author Friedrich Wolf had already begun working on the scenario in the late 1940s, and director Hellberg requested the DEFA board to authorize a film about Müntzer in 1952. 200 actors and 2000 extras -- the latter mostly servicemen of the Barracked People's Police and apprentices -- were involved in the filming, which took place in the town of Quedlinburg. The picture was shot using Agfacolor reels.

-- Wikipedia (link) [More on the politics of the film's development in History, Politics, and East German Film - The Thomas Müntzer (1956) Socialist Epic (Robert Walinski-Kiehl, 2006), 3.1MB pdf]
Hellberg directing

Martin Hellberg (Dresden, 1905 – Bad Berka, 1999) started work as a machinist, though he dreamed about becoming an actor and studied drama in evening courses. Eventually Hellberg was contracted by the Dresden State Theater, where he worked from 1924 until he was dismissed in 1933 because of his membership in the Communist Party membership. Hellberg's Jewish wife was compelled to leave the country. Hellberg himself was kept out of the Reichskulturfilmkammer and was forced to join the army in 1943. After the war, he worked at theaters in Freiburg and Munich, and became stage director and general manager in Dresden in 1949 before starting at the DEFA film studios in 1951. Hellberg directed many films that were based on literary classics.

-- DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (link)

* Martin Hellberg: Das Spiel - Sein Leben [Martin Hellberg: The Game - His Life] (29:28)
* Thomas Müntzer - Ein Verstörer der Ungläubigen [Thomas Müntzer - A Destroyer of Infidels] (13:17)
* Kleiner Trick... Ganz Gross: Ein Modell aus dem Müntzer-film [A Little Trick... Quite Large: A Model from the Müntzer Film] (2:28)
* Credo: Martin Luther - Wittenberg 1517 (16:32)
* Blaue Wimpel im Sommerwind: Die jungen pioniere entdecken Thomas Müntzer [Blue Pennant in the Breeze: The Young Pioneers Discover Thomas Müntzer] (7:12)
* Reiseland Thüringen [Highlights of Thuringia] (:22, :18, :18)

 Müntzer (Martin Hellberg, 1956).avi Hellberg - Das Spiel, Sein Leben.avi - Martin Luther, Wittenberg 1517.avi Wimpel im Sommerwind - Die jungen pioniere entdecken Thomas Müntzer.avi Müntzer - Ein Verstörer der Ungläubigen.avi Thüringen - Handwerk.avi Trick... Ganz Gross - Ein Modell aus dem Müntzer-film.avi Thüringen - Orte.avi Thüringen - Natur.avi

no subs
Thanks to odietamo@KG

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