The Desert King of Brandenburg

(Der Wüstenkönig von Brandenburg)

GDR, 1973, 79 min, color
In German; no subtitles
Assistant Director
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Music (Performance)
Production Company


A few days after the end of World War II, the eleven-year-old orphan Julius is on the run from the destroyed city of Berlin. Julius and formerly imprisoned communist Kaiser (Hilmar Baumann) both stumble on a horse in a forest and report it to the Soviet commander in a nearby town. They are given jobs at traveling circus, which has set up camp on the outskirts, and Kaiser is even appointed ringmaster.


Since it is very expensive to feed the circus’s main attraction, a lion, Kaiser thinks of using the horse as food. Julius, however, is horrified by this idea and runs away with the horse. After several adventures and after having made the acquaintance of a girl called Ulrike, who helps him to save the horse from a racketeer, Julius is again confronted with the lion: It has escaped and threatens Ulrike’s life. Now Julius is willing to sacrifice the horse. The lion, however, does not touch the horse since it knows the horses from the circus. Eventually, both the lion and the horse perform at the circus while Julius and Kaiser return to Berlin. 


Based on a story by Dieter Schubert.


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