[Marxism] Another Stasi film? No thanks | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Daniel Lindvall daniel.lindvall at filmint.nu
Wed Apr 4 09:58:14 MDT 2018


”Barbara” is IMO still one of the best films on DDR post-89. Here’s the first para of my review of it:

”Barbara (2012), written and directed by Christian Petzold, is a remarkable film. It may well be the best so far of all the German films made in recent years on the still very much contentious subject of the defunct German Democratic Republic (GDR). Generally speaking, such films, at least the ones that have reached an international audience, tend to fall into two categories: those tinted by nostalgia (in German the term Ostalgie – combining the words for ‘east’ and ‘nostalgia’ – is the label used for cultural expressions of nostalgia for the GDR) and those who, on the contrary, portray the GDR as a place of undiluted evil. Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) and The Lives of Others (2006) are probably the best-known examples of the respective category. Barbara treads a path beyond these ideological dead-end alleys."

http://filmint.nu/?p=5881

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> 4 apr. 2018 kl. 17:39 skrev Louis Proyect via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>:
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> Ernie, I haven't seen "Barbara" but I refer to it favorably in this piece. I got a chuckle out of the NY Times article referring to "mustache-twirling villain", the same words I used in my Counterpunch article:
> 
> 
> In a NY Times profile of Christian Petzold, the director of “Barbara”, he states that he did not want Stasi operatives to be “depicted as mustache-twirling villains”. The eponymous lead character is a doctor who has been banished to the countryside for some unspecified offense, where she is snooped on by Stasi operatives. We learn from a review of the film that Petzold was influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, evidence of which is “the prickles of unease that creep into his work, creating a cold climate of paranoia and an oft-justified fear of an imminent threat.” I haven’t seen this film but when it comes to prickles of unease, you can’t help but think of Hitchcock’s “Torn Curtain”, where mustache-twirling villains abound.
> 
> https://louisproyect.org/2017/03/30/another-stasi-film-no-thanks/
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