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  7. Zwei Welten + Morgen Beginnt Das Leben

Zwei Welten + Morgen Beginnt Das Leben

Chosen by Florian Höhensteiger

Zwei Welten (Two Worlds)
Werner Hochbaum, Germany 1930, DCP, 18 min., silent (German Intertitles with English translation)

Morgen Beginnt Das Leben (Life Begins Tomorrow)
Werner Hochbaum, Germany 1933, 35mm, 77 min., German with English subtitles

Commissioned by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) as an election advertising during the German Reichstag elections in 1930, Werner Hochbaum realized Zwei Welten through parallel, contrasting montages: A capitalist-Nazi upper class and a proletarian lower class. Among other things, Hochbaum uses excerpts from his silent debut film Brüder (1929), also shot in collaboration with the SPD, which became a proletarian classic. At the ballot box, Zwei Welten clearly calls out, we - the common people - have the choice between dictatorship and democracy. 

Life Begins Tomorrow follows a prisoner, released after five years inside, who hopes to see his wife again. Unfortunate circumstances delay their reunion and together yet apart, the two wander through Berlin and their tragic pasts in search of each other and a better tomorrow.Shot in April 1933, shortly after the Nazi takeover, the film stands as a final attempt to bring the art of silent film and the promise of the Weimar avant-garde to the screen. Whether softly swinging across a dance floor or hectically following a passing train, Hochbaum’s artful montages lead the viewer down false trails; the sparsity of dialogue and sound effects make every word and every noise ripple with meaning.

Florian Höhensteiger is a film archivist at the Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archives) by day and a film projectionist at SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA by night. He has run nitrate films for the Nitrate Picture Show at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester (USA) and taught film projection with the Film Heritage Foundation and Goethe-Institute in Mumbai. He curates film programmes for Cinegraph Babelsberg e.V.