DIE BLEIRNE ZEIT
(The German Sisters)
dir. Margarethe von Trotta, 1981
106 minutes. Germany.
COMING IN NOVEMBER - DATES TBD
Die Bleierne Zeit gets its title from a poem by Hölderlin and conjures the oppressive atmosphere of postwar Germany, with the bleak and aimless consumer society being built through the "economic miracle" and the heritage of fascism that the majority of Germans were reluctant to address. Its Italian title, Anni di piombo, became the phrase used to describe the wave of revolutionary violence and ensuing repression in Italy in the 70s. The overcast skies and modern prison blocks, along with the black and white newsreels of extermination camps and third-world misery that radicalize the Ensslin sisters, make for an overall cinematic texture that is just as leaden as the title promises.