"Epic" docu-drama about the Carl-Zeiss Jena company
Beginning at the beginning, this series dramatizes the history of a German company through the eyes of the Steinhüter family which through many generations of employees and eventually executive positions accompanies the growth of the company. Famous for its optical lenses and other optical instruments, the company had to survive the imperial German era, the First World War, the Nazi era and finally split into two during the Cold War, a new independent Western company and the original company in Jena in East Germany. As an East German film production, the film series naturally concentrates on the negatives of the pre-socialist era and extols the accomplishments of the socialist era, but it does show the material shortages and incompetent government directives the company suffered under during the latter period. A recurring theme is the dedication of the employees to the company, but also the cost to the families in unhappy, lonely marriages. The last seventh episode is almost communist Hollywood in its depiction of a prosperous, fulfilled Steinhüter family bounding from success to success, while in reality East Germany was a collapsing police state on the verge of the revolution which eventually swept away the German Democratic Republic. I still recommend the series and give it an 8.
- Feb 18, 2015
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