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Unser täglich Brot (Our Daily Bread)

1949, b/w, 96 min. Feature
Dir.: Slatan Dudow
Script: Slatan Dudow, Hans-Joachim Beyer, Ludwig Turek
Camera: Robert Baberske
Music: Hanns Eisler
Cast: Paul Bildt, Viktoria von Ballasko, Inge Landgut, Harry Hindemith

VHS-NTSC, English subtitles:


A story about a family after the Second World War. The petty bourgeois cashier Karl Weber of Berlin observes from a distance how his son Ernst participates in the building of a new socialist society. Karl does not understand Ernst's visions, instead he confides in his other son Harry. However, Harry becomes involved in illicit business and Karl quickly realizes that it would be best to join his son Ernst in the citizen-owned factory. With this film, director Slatan Dudow (1903-1963) continued the traditions of proletarian German film from the Weimar Republic. As with his first feature film Kuhle Wampe, from a screenplay by Bertolt Brecht, Dudow wanted an art that "cultivates the viewer's psyche." His postwar films were intended to make the viewers realize the importance of supporting the "new order" in East Germany. Our Daily Bread became known as a premiere film of its day under the rubric of "socialist realism." Slatan Dudow's work was convincing mainly through his detailed descriptions of socialist everyday life. Music by Hanns Eisler was the centerpiece of contemporary review. After coming back from his exile in America, the composer created a score that challenged, thrilled, and focused. Berlin's world of ruins is captured in almost documentary fashion.

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