84 min., in German w/ English subtitles
Not rated, DVD
This 1949 East German film by Wolfgang Staudte
(The Murderers are Among Us) was
unusual for its time too unusual, in
fact, for Communist censors, who removed it from
distribution for years.
Set at the beginning of the Hitler era, Rotation focuses on a mechanic
Hans who considers joining the Nazi Party because it can offer him greater
financial benefit. Yet politics is not his forte Hans helps
anti-Nazi friends print leaflets after Hitler secures
power, but naively makes
no secret of his participation, which is discovered by his son Hellmuth,
member of the Hitler Youth, who then willingly betrays his father to the police.
Rotation is a powerful
film not only for its dissection of a family
racked by internal strife, but also for its willingness remember,
this is East
Germany, circa 1949 to address the anti-Semitic campaigns that fueled Nazi
Jewish neighbors are gradually forced to abandon their homes and
jobs while he looks on helplessly),
providing valuable insight into the
conflicted German mindset during this tumultuous era. DVD extras
newsreel footage and an interview with film historian Christiane Mueckenberger.
Highly recommended! [Note: the 1962 East German film The Second Track
is also newly available.]
Review reprinted from September/October 2006 issue
of "Video Librarian"
DEFA Film Library
For questions related to the website please contact