Volker Schlondorff Reviews

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Calm at Sea

Review

In poverty, she found strength.
In oppression, she found courage.
In solidarity, she found a reason to believe again.

Acclaimed German actress Katharina Thalbach (THE TIN DRUM, SOPHIE’S CHOICE) stars in this hard-hitting historical drama set during the rise of Poland’s Solidarity movement.

An illiterate single mother, Agnieszka Kowalska is a Socialist "heroine of labor" for working long hours as a shipyard welder… until her superiors deny compensation to the widows of 21 workers killed in an industrial disaster.

Risking her job, her life, and the love of her son to defy the bureacracy, Agnieszka inspires the largest labor strike in world history… and becomes a national hero.

Volker Schlöndorff adapted this "ballad based on historical events" from the biography of Anna Walentynowicz, the free trade activist who mobilized a million Poles for Solidarity and helped hasten the fall of Communism.

Filmed entirely on location at Poland’s Lenin Shipyard, where history was made.


Within the Whirlwind

Review Angela Winkler, Mario Adorf. A quiet German woman wakes up after a one-night stand to find herself accused of terrorism-and her life thrown into turmoil. Based on a novel by Heinrich B+ll. In German with English subtitles. 1975/color/109 min/NR/widescreen.
13 Minutes

Review A striking examination of the power of the police and excesses of the media, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum grows more pertinent every day. When the police burst into Katharina Blum's apartment, they fail to find the suspected terrorist they've been tracking and arrest Blum for harboring a fugitive. Immediately she becomes a media sensation; between the ruthless interrogation of the police, the even more invasive muckraking of a notorious tabloid, and harassment from the sensation-hungry public, Blum's ordinary life is turned inside out until she has to lash out to defend her own sanity. A German film made in 1975, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum could have been made today in the U.S. Angela Winkler gives a compelling performance as Katharina, but the entire movie is superbly realized: suspenseful, compassionate, and shot through with dark humor. --Bret Fetzer
Habermann

Review West Germany; the early 1980s. A terrorist gang bursts into a bank. "Hi guys, we're the robbers," says Rita Vogt, "We're nationalizing the economy." As they flee, Rita stops to give money to a street-person. These are not your average bank robbers. After a series of complications, these anti-capitalist revolutionaries are forced to disband, but Rita decides to take refuge in East Germany under a false identity, and this former socialist activist begins to encounter some of the drab and discontented reality of a Communist state. Volker Schlondorff (The Tin Drum) directs this striking political thriller set in the later years of the Cold War.
Süskind

Review

In poverty, she found strength.
In oppression, she found courage.
In solidarity, she found a reason to believe again.

Acclaimed German actress Katharina Thalbach (THE TIN DRUM, SOPHIE’S CHOICE) stars in this hard-hitting historical drama set during the rise of Poland’s Solidarity movement.

An illiterate single mother, Agnieszka Kowalska is a Socialist "heroine of labor" for working long hours as a shipyard welder… until her superiors deny compensation to the widows of 21 workers killed in an industrial disaster.

Risking her job, her life, and the love of her son to defy the bureacracy, Agnieszka inspires the largest labor strike in world history… and becomes a national hero.

Volker Schlöndorff adapted this "ballad based on historical events" from the biography of Anna Walentynowicz, the free trade activist who mobilized a million Poles for Solidarity and helped hasten the fall of Communism.

Filmed entirely on location at Poland’s Lenin Shipyard, where history was made.


Max and Helene

Review Angela Winkler, Mario Adorf. A quiet German woman wakes up after a one-night stand to find herself accused of terrorism-and her life thrown into turmoil. Based on a novel by Heinrich B+ll. In German with English subtitles. 1975/color/109 min/NR/widescreen.
Past Life

Review A striking examination of the power of the police and excesses of the media, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum grows more pertinent every day. When the police burst into Katharina Blum's apartment, they fail to find the suspected terrorist they've been tracking and arrest Blum for harboring a fugitive. Immediately she becomes a media sensation; between the ruthless interrogation of the police, the even more invasive muckraking of a notorious tabloid, and harassment from the sensation-hungry public, Blum's ordinary life is turned inside out until she has to lash out to defend her own sanity. A German film made in 1975, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum could have been made today in the U.S. Angela Winkler gives a compelling performance as Katharina, but the entire movie is superbly realized: suspenseful, compassionate, and shot through with dark humor. --Bret Fetzer
On Wings Of Eagles

Review West Germany; the early 1980s. A terrorist gang bursts into a bank. "Hi guys, we're the robbers," says Rita Vogt, "We're nationalizing the economy." As they flee, Rita stops to give money to a street-person. These are not your average bank robbers. After a series of complications, these anti-capitalist revolutionaries are forced to disband, but Rita decides to take refuge in East Germany under a false identity, and this former socialist activist begins to encounter some of the drab and discontented reality of a Communist state. Volker Schlondorff (The Tin Drum) directs this striking political thriller set in the later years of the Cold War.

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