Review of Wiedersehen in Hildburghausen (1996)

Moving picture, 77 minutes

Seen in 2019.

Seen with Rainer Hartleb’s own Swedish-language narration.

Quiet lives in little Hildburghausen, Germany, from the invention of 8mm film, to post-unification hopes and doldrums in the mid-1990s.

Skillfully composed and scored, as I expect from Hartleb. Hans’ story is especially touching: Without being reduced to stereotype, he laments on the eve of democratic elections that “tomorrow the boxing gloves go on”, in a capitalist society’s war of everyone against everyone else as it had been portrayed in Soviet propaganda. Later, as Hans works to demolish the artifacts of East German terror and surveillance that he helped build as a civilian auto mechanic with the border patrol, he muses that his entire professional life has been a waste. Hans is what’s missing from every morally dichotomous action movie where the henchmen of tyrants are maimed and killed without a moment’s reflection. It’s a good example of bringing history to life through ordinary people.

References here: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).

moving picture non-fiction