DEUTSCHLANDBILDER

D 1983 – Director: Hartmut Bitomsky, Heiner Mühlenbrock – Original language: German

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In this insightful filmic essay, Bitomsky and Mühlenbrock examine more than thirty "Kulturfilme": Nazi documentary shorts made between 1933 and 1945 that were regularly shown in cinemas before feature films. With titles like "We Have No Problems" and "Holiday Fun”, these "images of Germany" show scenes of work and leisure-time activities, presenting a picture of a clean and self-confident Germany populated by nature lovers, craftsmen - people devoted to both progress and tradition. The film avoids typical political images of parades, speeches, or party conventions. Made in 1983, it was the first ever compilation film to deal with Nazi propaganda, attempting after 30 years to approach the subject without prejudice. It investigates Nazi iconography, giving the audience the freedom to think about how these images affect us today and how they affected Germans at that time. Deutschlandbilder lets the images speak in spite of themselves.

"The Nazis cherished the Kulturfilm. They spread a flood of images over Germany. They believed in images and films, they were particularly devoted to beauty and believed in the power of images. The Kulturfilme were there to give Germany a face that the Nazis liked." Hartmut Bitomsky


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Writer: Hartmut Bitomsky, Heiner Mühlenbrock. Camera: Carlos Bustamante. Editing: Hartmut Bitomsky, Heiner Mühlenbrock. Production: Big Sky Film. Producer: Hartmut Bitomsky. Length: 59 min. Distribution: Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek e.V..