For a few precious years, a decidedly light-hearted, sensual and frivolous spirit swept through German movie theatres. The musical comedies of the late Weimar Republic are some of the hidden gems of that era, presented at this year’s festival. Even more than other genres of German cinema of the Weimar Republic, the Tonfilmlustspiel is inextricably linked to the work of Jewish directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and actors, who had found the blossoming cultural metropolis Berlin to be a welcoming place during the 1920s. Their fate mirrors the fate of German Jewry in general. Some managed to escape, others, tragically, did not make it out of Europe in time and were killed in the concentration camps. Here are the stories of some of the artists whose work we will be able to admire during the festival.
Following the capitulation on 8th May 1945, Germany became an occupied territory devoid of proper nationhood, and it needed a future. It soon became clear that there would be two possible tomorrows: the Soviet-occupied zone was developed in one political direction, the US-American, British and French ones in another. From 1945 to 1948 the latter slowly fused into an administrative unity called the Trizone, which became the basis for the Federal Republic of Germany.