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Frauenschicksale (Destinies of Women)

1952, color, 105 min. Feature
Dir.: Slatan Dudow
Script: Slatan Dudow
Camera: Robert Baberske
Music: Hanns Eisler
Cast: Sonja Sutter, Hanns Groth, Lotte Loebinger, Anneliese Book
VHS-NTSC, English subtitles:


Created in 1952 during the peak of cultural/political dogmatism in the German Democratic Republic. During this time, films were officially supported if they portrayed typical fates in typical situations with positive heroes in the lead roles who could convince viewers of the victory of socialism. Director Slatan Dudow chose another, less conspicuous and didactic method. His protagonist, Conny, the womanizer from West-Berlin, is the archetypical bourgeois adventurer. The film presents him in relation to four women: a law student who is almost ruined by her love for him, a designer, who becomes pregnant with his child, loses her job in West Berlin and moves to East Berlin, another woman who, in an attempt to impress him, steals a dress and later becomes guilty of the death of her brother, and lastly, another student who rebuffs Conny the first time they meet. For director Slatan Dudow, the positive heroes are the women, not the man. The Destinies of Women provides us with an accurate picture of the cultural/political dogmatism in the German Democratic Republic in the early 1950's and proves to be a substantial political study.

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