Der Ochsenkrieg (1920)


A power struggle between mountain peasants who have been raising milk cows on common land and a village bailiff trying to gain power driving them off the land. Both have a ducal documents that states the opposite.


6.9/10
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10 October 2018 | kekseksa
peasants versus thugs
This historical epic of sorts is remarkable for the extent to which it foreshadows many of the genres and themes that would be important in German film not only in the twenties but in he thirties too and even post-war - the legendfilm, the "heimat" film, even the "mountain film", "blut und boden". The film, set in the fifteenth century, is in part set in Bechtersgarten where Hitler would later make his home and of course these genres and themes would be dear to National Socialists in the same way they were to Germans of all creeds and credoes but, before one supposes, like the egregious Krachauer, that all films made in the Weimar Republic lead to Hitler, it is a film about popular resistance to those in power who believe that might is right. It is true that many in Bavaria who supported Hitler and his thugs at this time (just three years before the beerhall putsch), may have believed they were supporting such a resistance movement but a closer look would have told them where the resembance really lay....

The director, Franz Ostem did join the Nazi party in 1936, by which time he was in India making the films for Himanshu Rai's Bombay talkies (prounce "takis") for which he is probably now best known. The paramilitary Hindutva movement Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, founded in 1927 and still very much around, bore a close resemblance to the European fascist movements but Osten's best known film from the thirties, Achyut Kannya (1936) contains a powerful critique of the Hindu caste system.

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