In our Monthly Film Series, we will show a variety of GERMAN or GERMAN language films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. On the 2nd Wednesday of each month, audiences will now have a chance to see these films on a regular basis at the CLINTON STREET THEATER. (Children movies will be playing on Sunday afternoons – please check our website.) All films are with English subtitles.

TUESDAY, JAN. 31, 2017 – 7:00 PM

Germany, 1947, 104 min, B&W

In German; English subtitles
Directed by Kurt Maetzig

The film spans a ten-year period starting in 1933. Celebrated German film and theater actor Hans Wieland marries the Jewish actress Elisabeth Maurer. As Nazi anti-Semitic policies increasingly infringe on their lives, they struggle to survive. Then Hans is given an ultimatum by a friend who has become a Nazi official: save himself by divorcing his wife.

Kurt Maetzig dedicated his debut film to telling the story of the acclaimed German theater couple, Meta Wolff and Joachim Gottschalk. Director Kurt Maetzig, whose own Jewish mother had committed suicide to avoid deportation, based the script on a novella by Hans Schweikart, a personal friend of the Gottschalks.

The first German feature film to explicitly address the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, Marriage in the Shadows called on Germans to accept collective responsibility for the crimes of the Third Reich. Stylistically the production—in which many former Ufa artists were involved—blends classic melodrama in the Ufa style with documentary glimpses into life in Berlin under the Nazis. Shown in all four sectors of occupied Berlin and across Germany, the initial release of the film reached 10 million viewers. It premiered in the US at the Little Met Theater in New York on September 16, 1948.

(written by DEFA Film Library)