New DVDs (Germanic Studies), October-November 2015

Selected list of new video recordings relevant to Germanic Studies. Click on the links for call numbers and availability. For a complete listing of new videos and DVDs, consult the Catalog or the DVD lists.

Is there a DVD you want the Libraries to get? Contact Brian

Decentone  The decent one / a production of Realworks ; in co-production with Felix Breisach Medienwerkstatt ; ORF ; MDR ; WDR ; script, Vanessa Lapa, Ori Weisbrod ; producer, Vanessa Lapa ; director, Vanessa Lapa. Originally released as a documentary film in 2014.  In German with English subtitles. DVD

SUMMARY: Through previously undiscovered private letters, photos and diaries that were found in the Himmler family house in 1945, the ‘The Decent One’ exposes a unique and at times uncomfortable access to the life and mind of the merciless ‘Architect of the Final Solution’–

Deutschland83  Deutschland 83 / written by Anna Winger ; directed by Edward Berger, Samira Radsi.
DVD release of episodes originally broadcast on television in 2014. In German, with optional subtitles in English. DVD.

SUMMARY: It’s 1983. The Cold War is hot. The threat of nuclear conflict looms. Born and raised in East Germany, Martin Rauch is sent undercover, as Moritz Stamm, to West Germany, to work for a top General in the Bundeswehr. Officially, his job is to gather intelligence on the placement of the Pershing II Missiles. A secondary gig develops, infiltrating youth culture through close relationships with the General’s two children. But nothing and no one are as they seem.

Royalaffair En kongelig affære = A royal affair / instrueret af Nikolaj Arcel ; skrevet af Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg ; producere, Louise Vesth, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Meta Louise Foldager ; executive producere, Lars von Trier, Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Peter Garde. DVD release of the 2012 motion picture. In Danish and English; with optional subtitles in English, English SDH or Spanish. DVD.

SUMMARY: The passionate and forbidden romance between Johann Friedrich Struensee, the royal physician, and the young but strong-willed Queen Caroline Mathilda, wife of the mad Danish king Christian VII, leads to a revolution that changes an entire nation.

Sellingdemocracy Selling democracy : die Filme des Marshallplans = the films of the Marshall Plan / BpB, Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung. [Bonn] : BpB in cooperation with Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Deutsches Historisches Museum, and Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, c2006. Contains 23 short films from the years 1948-1953. DVD.

SUMMARY: The Marshall Plan, an aid program initiated by the Americans in 1947, was devised to get the economies of the western zones of occupation back on their feet again. The plan was accompanied by a remarkable international propaganda campaign. In particular, the medium of film is used, not just by the United States, but also the Soviet Union, to try and secure pole position as a political power in Europe and to immunize the population against the respective political opponent.

Soldaten Die Soldaten / Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Opera in 4 acts; libretto by the composer, after a play by Jakob Lenz. Video edition of a film originally made for television broadcast.Recorded in 1989 at the Staatsoper, Stuttgart, Germany. Sung in German; optional subtitles in English, German, French, and Spanish. DVD.

SUMMARY: Die Soldaten is a hugely important work in terms of the 20th century oeuvre, indeed, the Cologne Opera pronounced it impossible to perform and premiered a less convoluted version of Zimmermann’s opera in 1965. It is performed in this instance by the Stuttgart Opera, with stage direction by Harry Kupfer.

Tatortreininger  Der Tatortreiniger = Crime scene cleaner / produced by Berhard Gleim ; written by Mizzi Meyer ; directed by Arne Feldhusen. Originally broadcast as single episodes of a television program. German dialogue; English subtitles. DVD.

SUMMARY: In this immensely popular German comedy, Bjarne Mädel stars as Heiko “Schotty” Schotte – a man whose work begins where others pass in horror. He’s a contract cleaner, sent to sanitize crime scenes after the police have finished their investigations. A high school dropout, Schotty accepts his place in life and has dedicated himself to two things: finding a hot girlfriend and being the best crime scene cleaner in Germany.

Demokrat  Wie werde ich Demokrat? : Re-Education durch Film nach 1945 / ein Film von Dieter Reifarth. Films originally produced between 1945 and 1952. In German and English, with optional subtitles in German, English and French. DVD.

SUMMARY: After World War II Allied powers in Germany wanted to bring the “Outlaw nation” back into the community of civilized nations. From 1945 to 1952 the British/American “Welt im Film” series produced propaganda and documentary films to re-educate the German population. This 2 disc set features 15 of these re-education films addressing the psychology, politics, culture and everyday life of post-War Germans from an Allied viewpoint.

About the author

Brian Vetruba is Germanic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, and European Studies Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis