Weimar Cinema: From Caligari to Hitler

The cinema of the Weimar Republic has had an enormous influence on international perceptions of German film. Germany established government-subsidized film conglomerate UFA in 1917. UFA dominated the German film industry from 1917 to 1945; it consequently achieved an outsized influence over the collective experience and attitudes of the German people. Never before and never again did one German film company bring together such a wealth of stars and artists while simultaneously gaining such power and influence. The documentary From Caligari to Hitler by filmmaker Rudiger Suchsland explores the connection between the expressionist silent cinema of Germany and subsequent rise of Nazism. The film illustrates the 1947 Siegfried Krakauer thesis that Nazism is anticipated in many themes through Weimar cinema of the 1920s. Suchsland convincingly tracks the concept of the charismatic villain bewitching the people. Pivotal German films from this period will be presented. An exceptionally high number of German productions from this Golden Age of cinematography have been accepted into the canon of international film history.

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