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February 9 - 26, 2005


Emerging from post-war Germany, the Heimatfilm reflected the social disorientation of German audiences who longed for clear, comprehensible order in society. These viewers fled into the small, enclosed world of the Heimatfilm. Peaceful villages, unspoiled nature, and firm values, handed down from the past, are the trademarks of films from this overlooked movement. Disregarded by most film historians in much the same way American melodrama was until it was rescued by feminist film theory, Heimatfilm promotes a fascinating reflection on gender roles and the allure of provincial life in postwar Germany.

This program is co-presented with the Goethe-Institut Boston.

Program notes adapted from the Goethe-Institut San Francisco.

February 9 (Wednesday) 9 pm

The Fisher Girl of Lake Constance (Die Fischerin vom Bodensee)

Directed by Harald Reinl
West Germany, 1956, color, 91 min.
With Marianne Hold, Gerhard Riedmann
German with English subtitles

Maria lives with her grandfather in a secluded fishing hut on Lake Constance where they barely survive on what the fishing grounds provide. The Bruckbergers’ daughters from next door make things worse by scaring away the fish with their motorboat. But Hans, the son of a rich family, falls in love with Maria and tries to help her, although she is unsure if he can be trusted.

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February 12 (Saturday) 7 pm

High Up On the Mountain (Hoch Droben auf dem Berg)

Directed by Géza von Bolváry
West Germany, 1957, color, 102 min.
With Gerhard Riedmann, Margot Hielscher
German with English subtitles

After an emergency airplane landing in the Tyrolean mountains, the Viennese singer Sonja Martens falls in love with Toni, a woodcutter with a knack for yodelling, and promises him a television career in the big city. Toni leaves his provincial life behind, much to the dismay of Maria, the village girl who always loved him. Toni’s performance in Vienna as a yodeling jazz singer is a great success but something is missing…

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February 18 (Friday) 9:30 pm

Lady Country Doctor (Die Landärztin von Tegernsee)

Directed by Paul May
West Germany, 1958, color, 93 min.
With Marianne Koch, Rudolf Prack, Margarete Haagen
German with English subtitles

The young physician Dr. Petra Jensen takes over the medical practice of the deceased country doctor in a small Bavarian village. The villagers, who expected a man, rather than a woman, shun her and her practice. But when the mayor's daughter urgently needs medical help, Petra is the only one who can perform the operation, challenging the townspeople’s opinion of her.

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February 26 (Saturday) 7 pm

Black Forest Girl (Schwarzwaldmädel)

Directed by Hans Deppe
West Germany, 1950, color, 100 min.
With Paul Hörbiger, Sonja Ziemann, Rudolf Prack
German with English subtitles

Romance and intrigue are at the center of Black Forest Girl. An expensive necklace is loaned to an ice show performer by an enamored jeweler. The stunning piece accidentally ends up in the handbag of his secretary, setting off a chain of events and misunderstandings that lead to the Black Forest village of St. Christoph and the ceremonial waltz at the village’s customary Cecilia Festival.

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February 26 (Saturday) 9 pm

The Farmer’s Perjury (Der Meineidbauer)

Directed by Rudolf Jugert
West Germany, 1956, color, 100 min.
With Heidemarie Hatheyer, Carl Wery, Christiane Hörbiger
German with English subtitles

The mountain farmer Jakob Ferner is killed in an accident. He has left the farm to Paula, the unmarried mother of his two children. Finding himself left out of the will, Jakob’s angry stepbrother destroys the will, takes over the farm, and forces Paula to leave with her children. Ten years later, the stepbrother's son falls in love with Paula's daughter. Is there a future for their love?

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