Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Film from Germany

GERMAN street theatre came to London this week with the screening of The Funeral or the Heavenly Four at Marx House on Monday to an audience that included NCP leader Andy Brooks, Michael Chant of the RCPB (ML) and members of the London District of the NCP.
The 45-minute short, directed by Thomas Schmitz-Bender, is essentially a film within a film, covering an avant-guard Berlin street project to commemorate the defeat of the Nazis in 1945. The drama played over two days with many spectacular highlights, including a convoy of Soviet tanks at the Reichstag; speeches by veterans from the four Allied Powers, the funeral of the “unknown soldier” and a replay of last RAF raid on Potsdam with sirens wailing and a fly-past by a British bomber dropping leaflets for the next day’s events. And at the Glienicker Bridge, where spies were exchanged during the Cold War, the old border with the German Democratic Republic was redrawn in chalk across the road to mark a reunification that has brought nothing but disaster to millions of working people in eastern Germany.
The “heavenly four” are the Soviet Union, Britain, France and the United States that brought Nazi Germany to its knees in 1945 but Schmitz-Bender’s purpose was to point out that the German people themselves must act now for peace and not rely on others again for liberation.
The theme from Bertholdt Brecht’s poem, The Legend of the Dead Soldier, runs throughout the film which was introduced by Stefan Eggerdinger from the Workers’ League for the Restoration of the Communist Party of Germany (AWKPD) that played a major part in its production.

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