Relationship between Identity and Politics in German Films
The German film industry in the post-war era depicted a society that was struggling to find validation or acceptance in the global arena while having being condemned by the United Nations for its role in propagating the world war and commuting widespread and targeted atrocities against the Jewish community. This was an epoch where the Third Reich was in full control of Germany, and they were keen on invasion and world conquest. The political regime in Germany was in full control of an individual’s liberty. The government used education and culture as tools to control the population; they used the media to disseminate their propaganda throughout the society. This was coupled with the erosion of the very societal fabric, such as the family, which affirmed the relationship between identity and politics during this era.
The first film is “Murderers are Among Us,” which is a post-world war II film produced by Althoff studios and Jofa-Ateliers and written and directed by Wolfgang Staudte. The grim visual representation of the post-war situation in Berlin reveals a city struggling to recover from the devastating effects of the war. The city has been obliterated to its knees and children are playing around, with train passengers hanging dangerously from a train. This picture of post-war Berlin indicates the serious consequences of the political regime, which took charge of Germany; the devastation of the city became the German identity. The city residents in the film are portrayed as least joyous to have been liberated from the hands of their oppressors, but they are oblivious of their future; this affirms the relationship between identity and politics in Germany. Most of the residents have their heads buried in their palms, a sign of dejection and devastation of the city standing in ruins, which is an evidence of the far-reaching damages induced by the war.
The main character in the movie, Susan Wallner, is trying to find her way back home. There is also a male character who is seen staggering on the stairs to the patio—the drunk character is former military surgeon Dr. Hans Mertens, who is suffering from post-traumatic stress which has prevented him from practicing medicine.