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Berlin, Symphony of a City (Berlin. Die Sinfonie der Grossstadt)

Berlin, Symphony of a City

The external framework is the life of the metropolis from morning until midnight. At first, one senses the atmosphere of the city; a long-distance train travels through the suburbs, making us increasingly aware of the proximity of the colossus, shots of the journey, motion filmed with amazing technical skill, symbolize our rushing towards the metropolis. The station, the dawn, Berlin! Gradually it awakens. The earliest workers sparsely populate the streets. It grows in a crescendo, highlights fall on the centers of morning life, on stations, factories, road junctions. Characteristic types are captured everywhere. And like an accompanying tune, we have sections from the private lives of big-city people, houses waking up, apartments coming to life. Midday arrives, evening arrives, again and again the objective fits to situations full of life, stealing the heart of them. The photographer penetrates all areas, all districts, all social classes. Night falls, sections from the dark existence of Berlin, flashes of light over the darkest periphery. Until the night gently covers over this incomparably seething life with its calm veil of stars.
Category Documentary, Silent
Year of Production 1927
Director Walther Ruttmann
Screenplay Walther Ruttmann, Karl Freund
Cinematography Reimar Kuntze, Robert Baberske, Laszloe Schaeffer
Edmund Meisel
Erich Kettelhut
Producer Karl Freund
Production Company Fox-Europa-Produktion, in association with Deutsche Vereins-Film, Berlin
Length 65 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Festivals Berlinale 2014 (Retrospective), Cambridge 2014, Tampere 2015
German Distributor Deutsches Filminstitut - DIF/Wiesbaden

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