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TIN DRUM, THE (BLECHTROMMEL, DIE)

TIN DRUM, THE
Scene from "The Tin Drum" (photo courtesy of Kinowelt)

1924. Oskar Matzerath, a precocious child, is born in the "Free City" of Danzig. The boy's third birthday leads to serious consequences: he stops growing in protest to the nature of the world around him. Henceforth, he looks at the adults from the optical perspective of a child and finds them to be nothing but a huge monstrosity reaching its political climax in national socialism and the second world war. Oskar is given a small metal drum on his birthday and drums out his protest against the world. His rhythmic drumming even throws Nazi marches into confusion. Before long, he discovers that he can shatter glass with his screaming and uses it as another weapon in his child's rebellion. He personally lives out the entire chaos in the world and only ends his boycott on growth when the Germans are defeated and banished from Danzig at the end of the war.


Volker Schlöndorff has been active for more than 50 years. A selection of his award-winning films includes: YOUNG TÖRLESS (1965), BAAL (1970), THE SUDDEN WEALTH OF THE POOR PEOPLE OF KOMBACH (1971), THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM (1975, co-directed with Margarethe von Trotta), FANGSCHUSS (1976), GERMANY IN AUTUMN (1976, together with Stefan Aust, Alexander Kluge, et al), THE TIN DRUM (1979), CIRCLE OF DECEIT (1981), SWANN IN LOVE (1983), DEATH OF A SALESMAN (1985), A GATHERING OF OLD MEN (1987), THE HANDMAID'S TALE (1990), VOYAGER (1990), THE OGRE (1996), PALMETTO (1998), THE LEGENDS OF RITA (1999), EIN PRODUZENT HAT SEELE ODER ER HAT KEINE (2001), TEN MINUTES OLDER: THE CELLO (2002), THE NINTH DAY (2004), STRIKE (2006), ULZHAN (2007), DAS MEER AM MORGEN (2011), DIPLOMATIE (2014), and RETURN TO MONTAUK (2017).
Genre Literature, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1979
Director Volker Schlöndorff
Screenplay Jean-Claude Carrière, Volker Schlöndorff, Franz Seitz, Guenter Grass
Cinematography Igor Luther
Suzanne Baron
Maurice Jarre, Friedrich Meyer
Dominique Antony, Ewa Kowalska, Bernd Lepel, Axel Manthey, Nicos Perakis
Cast David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Daniel Olbrychski, Katharina Thalbach, Andréa Ferreol, Otto Sander, Heinz Bennent, Charles Aznavour
Producer Franz Seitz
Production Companies Seitz Filmproduktion/Munich, Bioskop Film/Munich, Artemis Film/Berlin, Hallelujah Film/Potsdam, GGB/Munich, Argos Film/Paris
Length 164 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French
Sound Technology Optical
Festivals Cannes 1979, Sydney 1980, Belgrade 1980, Milan 1980, San Sebastian 2002 (Retrospective), Viareggio 2008, Camerimage Lodz 2009, Cannes 2010 (Cannes Classics), Golden Apricot Yerevan 2012, Zlín 2015, Palic 2016, La Rochelle 2017, Kolkata 2019
Awards German Film Award 1979, Golden Palm Cannes 1979, Golden Screen 1979, Jupiter 1979, Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 1980, First Prize Sydney 1980, Best Direction & Best Screenplay Belgrade 1980, Premio San Fedele Milan 1980, David Wark Griffith Award for Best Foreign Film 1980

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