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Comradeship (Kameradschaft)

Scene from "Comradeship" (photo courtesy of Filmmuseum Berlin/Deutsche Kinemathek)

Comradeship is based on a reconstruction of a pit disaster that occurred in Courrières near the border between France and Germany in 1906.

Fire has broken out in the pit on the French side. The management lacks the modern equipment necessary to fight the fire and rescue the trapped miners. All the facilities are available in the adjacent German pit which has been separated off by an underground fence since 1919. However, the directorate only grants permission to start a rescue mission when it is compelled to do so by the miners. A small group breaks through the underground border fence, while other miners speed across the border in trucks to help their French comrades. The opposing forces are shown in a very dense scene: a trapped French miner sees the Germans coming to help him as the enemy from the first World War instead of as rescuers. The successful rescue work is followed by a dual conclusion: the idealistic prospect of international solidarity among the workers and its realistic disillusionment. The fence separating the German and French mines is repaired and then checked by an official; full of satisfaction, he claims that "no one can get through here now".
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 1931
Director Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Screenplay Ladislaus Vajda, Karl Otten, Peter Martin Lampel
Cinematography Fritz Arno Wagner
Hans Oser
G. von Rigelius
Ernoe Metzner, Karl Vollbrecht
Cast Alexander Granach, Fritz Kampers, Daniel Mendaille, Ernst Busch, Elisabeth Wendt, Gustav Puettjer, Oskar Hoecker, Héléna Manson
Producer Seymour Nebenzahl
Production Companies Nero-Film/Berlin, Gaumont-Franco-Film Aubert/Paris
Runtime 92 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Dubbed Versions French
Subtitled Version French
Sound Technology Mono
Festivals London 1931
Awards Gold Medal London 1931
German Distributor Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen/Berlin

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