New German Cinema, also known as the German Film Movement or the New Wave, refers to a cultural and artistic movement that took place in West Germany in the late 1950s and 1960s. This movement represented a new direction in German film, breaking away from the traditional, formulaic, and propagandistic films of the past and embracing a new style of storytelling that was more personal, experimental, and reflective of contemporary society.
The movement was largely led by a group of young film directors, who sought to explore new forms of filmmaking and challenge the status quo of the German film industry. These directors included Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Volker Schlöndorff, and Werner Herzog, among others. Their films often addressed themes of social and political change, including the aftermath of World War II, the changing relationships between Germany and its neighbors, and the cultural and economic divisions within West Germany itself.
One of the defining films of the New German Cinema movement is "Alice in the Cities" (1974) directed by Wim Wenders. This film is a road movie about a German journalist and an American girl who travel through Europe together, and it reflects the director's interest in capturing the changing moods of contemporary Europe. Another important film of the movement is "The Marriage of Maria Braun" (1979) directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This film tells the story of a woman who rises from poverty to become a successful businesswoman in post-World War II Germany, and it explores the themes of love, betrayal, and the changing social and economic landscape of the country.
Another film that is often associated with the New German Cinema movement is "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (1972) directed by Werner Herzog. This film is a story of a Spanish conquistador and his journey through the Amazon jungle in search of the legendary city of gold, and it reflects Herzog's fascination with man's relationship to the natural world and his own mortality.
Overall, the New German Cinema movement was a significant development in the history of German film and had a lasting impact on the global film industry. Its directors and films continue to be celebrated and studied for their contributions to the art of filmmaking, and its legacy can be seen in the work of contemporary filmmakers who continue to explore new forms of expression and push the boundaries of traditional storytelling.
Brightest films from the New German Cinema: