While an anatomy seminar prepares to examine the cadaver of Franz Wozzeck in the name of scientific progress, medical student Buchner excoriates humanity for having allowed Wozzeck's fate. The tragic story unfolds in flashbacks, as Buchner narrates. Wozzeck, a poor and simple soldier, endures humiliation and brutality at the hands of his military superiors. Willing to give all to support his beloved Marie and their son, Wozzeck even agrees to undergo dangerous medical experiments. But when a handsome major seduces Marie, Wozzeck is able to contain himself no longer. Soon after the end of WWII, the director brought together a surprising range of German filmmakers, including costume designer Walter Schulze-Mittendorff (Metropolis, The Ruler), cinematographer Bruno Mondi (Jew Suess, Kolberg), set designer Hermann Warm (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Dreyfus Case) and actor Kurt Meisel (Final Accord, Kolberg). This film is endowed with exceptional visual power-both sharply realistic and uncannily visionary. Klaren used expressionist elements to explore German predispositions to militarism and fascism. Although officials praised the first post-war literary adaptation and used it for re-education in the early postwar years, it disappeared from the screen after the formalism debate in the 1950s.
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2016.
In Process Record.; Title from title frames.
Features: Arno Paulsen, Kurt Meisel, Max Eckard, Helga Zulch, Paul Henckels
Originally produced by DEFA Film Library in 1947.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Klaren, Georg, filmmaker