Beloved and Rejected: Cinema in the Young Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963 (ENGLISCH)

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Cinema in the young Federal Republic was varied, combative, and lively – surprisingly different from how established views and judgements describe it. Superficial and inconsequential? Without any interest in the thematisation of urgent societal problems or the working through of German guilt? Orientated towards kitsch and purported mainstream tastes? Homogenous and predictable?

A very different picture emerges from the 33 texts in this book which were written for the occasion of the 2016 Festival del film Locarno. Polyphonic and outspoken, with values and interpretations which were both contradictory and complementary – the authors here explore the diversity of filmmaking during the Adenauer years. As a result, a comprehensive panorama of the era and its cinema emerges, large parts of which have yet to be discovered.

With 270 pictures from the archives of Deutsches Filminstitut and other archives


Press comment

"A standard work... Dominik Graf is one of the authors, with an essay on the images of men, on the actors who embodied them and, beyond that, on how their acting changed. What the women had to say (more than one thinks) is described by Rainer Knepperges. This catalogue has everything, which does not replace viewing, but does supplement the best of it." (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Verena Lueken)

"A film book which could not be more typical of the ideal, including an English edition... 416 pages long, illustrated in exemplary fashion with 270 pictures from the Deutsches Filminstitut and other archives. A treasure trove. A standard work. A bonanza." (, Alf Mayer)

"A comprehensive catalogue, rich in every way" (Tagesanzeiger, Christoph Schneider)

"That in Germany of those days international stars were made, such as Romy Schneider and Maria Schell, that the genre film, from Heimatfilm and crime thriller, through melodramas to the comedies one can still sometimes see broadcast on television with Theo Lingen or Heinz Rühmann, served a competitive international market, is explained by the engaging and readable essays, opulently laid out with countless photos. The relationship between cinema and society is to a certain extent the book's leitmotiv. The range is from detailed film-historical analyses of, for example, German-German co-productions to the reading pleasure of director Dominik Graf's essay, which he devotes to the male images of the West-German post-war cinema." (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Eva-Maria Magel)

"On the one hand, the Federal German film of the 1950s was and is considered conservative and hopelessly antiquated. Joe Hembus wrote in his 1961 polemic 'The German Film Couldn't Be Better': "It is bad. It is doing badly. It makes us look bad. It is badly treated. It also wants to remain bad." This evaluation has been handed on. On the other hand, over one thousand films were made between 1949 and 1963 in the Federal Republic. And when one looks back at them today, many of them prove to be better than their reputation. To mark the Retrospective in Locarno, the Deutsches Filminstitut has published a catalogue which dares to evaluate anew. 32 texts and many related photos stimulate one to a nuanced view of the cinema of that time, as well as of early television... It is amazing how many new insights can be gained when authors engage themselves more precisely, without pre-conditions, with the normally available films of a certain phase of film history and make individual discoveries. Naturally, one cannot disregard the contexts of the period. But the fact that one can see some things differently from a temporal distance and need not permit oneself to be influenced by unanimous contemporary condemnation is one of the pleasurable experiences when dealing with film history. My respect goes to the colleagues in Frankfurt for this publication."
(Hans Helmut Prinzler, Book of the Month August 2016) 


Titel: Beloved and Rejected: Cinema in the Young Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963
Herausgeber: Dillmann, Claudia; Möller, Olaf
Verleger: Frankfurt am Main: Deutsches Filminstitut DIF e.V.
Erscheinungsjahr: 2016
Umfang/Format: broschiert, 416 Seiten: mit 270 Abbildungen aus den Archiven des Deutschen Filminstituts und weiteren Archiven; 24 cm x 17.1 cm, 1295 g

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