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Dein unbekannter Bruder (Your Unknown Brother)

1982, color, 108 min. Feature
Dir.: Ulrich Weiß
Script: Wolfgang Trampe (based on the novel of the same name by Willi Bredel)
Camera: Claus Neumann
Music: Peter Rabenalt
Cast: Uwe Kockisch, Michael Gwisdek, Jenny Gröllmann, Bohumil Vavra, Michael Gerber, Arno Wyzniewski, et al.
35mm, English subtitles
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16mm, English subtitles
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VHS-PAL, no subtitles
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Returning from a Nazi camp for political prisoners in 1935, anti-fascist Arnold Clausen is ambivalent about reestablishing contact with his resistance group, afraid he is being watched. On afternoons and evenings, he goes to work as a film presenter in the Orion Cinema. Occasionally, he sees Renate, whom he loves. She comes from an upstanding bourgeois family, but shares his political sympathies. The stifling isolation of his predicament finally forces him to seek friendship in his superior, Walter. He would like to be able to trust someone, but his mistrust grows ever greater. On top of the mounting external threat to their group, someone within their own ranks betrays them. There are arrests made of several group members, and Arnold suspects that Walter is, in fact, the traitor; a suspicion that later leads to Arnold's downfall. Isolation, fear, the need for friendship, and betrayal are the themes of this film, making it a rare psychological take on the theme of antifascism. This milestone film both sustains and breaks with the antifascist traditions of East German cinema.

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