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  • Films in one way or another are influenced by what's going on in the world around them; cultural styles, artistic modes or social or political situations that shape the final conception of the work and reveal the artist's intentions.

    "Nerven", directed by Herr Robert Reinert, is a good example of what this German count is talking about; filmed during the silent year of 1919, that is to say, at the end of the WWI and during very complicated times for old Germany; the defeated country rapidly gave birth to the Weimar republic, a young democracy that will suffer many continuous social and political conflicts during its short existence. This was also a time in which the Arts flourished ( German Expressionism was born during that time ), so consequently the decadent and tormented plot of Herr Reinert's "Nerven" was influenced by the end of the WWI context and the political and social conflicts that immediately followed. The story depicts a confuse which is transferred to the private lives of the main characters.

    It must be said that in spite his short career, Herr Robert Reinert directed such bizarre films as "Opium" and was scriptwriter of Herr Otto Rippert's six part fantasy film, "Homunculus" (1916), strange plots for unconventional films. This is also true for "Nerven" a film about sex, politics and religion, three subjects that can't be mentioned in any elegant aristocratic soirée if you want to be polite and respectful to your guests…

    The films tells the political disputes of an ultraconservative factory owner Herr Roloff and Teacher John, who feels a compulsive but secret love for Roloff's sister, a left-wing radical. They are all driven psychologically and morally to the borderline, tormented souls living their lives in a tormented country.

    The film has Expressionist touches ( mainly in the performance and the decadent atmosphere ) and a depurate technique emphasizing allegorical touches. There are disturbing images relating to metaphysics and philosophy, an interpretation of the social problems born after the end of WWI. The sick society is challenged by revolutionary ideals but there are oneiric images full of hope at the end of the film where a peaceful utopia is glimpsed.

    It is always a pleasure to rescue from oblivion these great and unknown silent films as the youngsters at the "Filmmuseum" have done; although one third of the film was lost, they put together successfully nitrates from different silent archives around the world, beautifully restoring and tinting such an important archaeological find for German film. Even this decadent German count must sing their praises.

    And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must avoid a nervous breakdown.

    Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien
  • mlink-36-981513 February 2018
    If you think of movies as sitting like a lump then NERVEN is not for you. but NERVEN makes you feel the grief in such a way few movies can do. great acting pulls it off. not hysterical sped up but you go inside the lives and once there the movie NERVEN will not let you out. angst poured on top of more angst until maybe "The Whole World Is Mad" yes. for such a war over nothing to kill so many. very few movies bring this home as NERVEN does. The restoration is so good you can hardly believe anything is missing. the tinting was done beautifully so that it enhances the moods. Way ahead of its time you need to buy it and throw away The Big Parade as such garbage that it is.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Nerven" or "Nerves" is a German black-and-white film from 1919, so this one will already have its 100th anniversary 3 years from now. And if you take a look at the year when this was made, it is easy to understand that this is still a silent film, namely very briefly after World War I. The writer and director is Robert Reinert and he is not too known anymore today compared to some other German (language) silent filmmakers like Murnau, Lang or Pabst. Same can be said about the cast here. Despite having seen many films from that era, I cannot say I am familiar with any of the names credited there. In terms of plot and story, I would say this is not one of the best or worst from the genre. People who love slightly scary very old silent films will maybe have a good time watching, but I did not really. I think at 110 minutes, so not much under 2 hours, it was way too long for its own good and I lost interest quickly. That's why overall I give it a thumbs down. Not recommended.