Between Two Wars

A film about the time of the blast furnances – 1917-1933 – about the development of an industry, about a perfect machinery which had to run itself to the point of its own destruction.

The essay from the Berlin filmmaker, Harun Farocki, on heavy industry and the gas of the blast furnace, convinces through the author's cool abstraction and manic obsession and through the utilization of a single example of the self-destructive character of capitalistic production: "The image of the blust furnace gas is real and metaphoric; an energy blows away uselessly into the air. Guided through a system of pipes, the pressure increases. Hence, a valve is needed. That valve is the production of war material."

Between Two Wars is also a film about the strains of filmmaking and a reflection on craft and creation. Farocki distances himself radically from the thoughtless sloppiness of average television work. The clarity and the precise ordering of his black and white images, which do not illustrate thoughts but are themselves thoughts, are reminiscent of the late Godard. The poverty of this film – its production took six years – is at the same time its strength.

(Hans C. Blumenberg, 1979)

Original title Zwischen Zwei Kriegen Director, editor Harun Farocki Assistant director Jörg Papke Script Harun Farocki, based on radio play by Harun Farocki Das große Verbindungsrohr (1975) Scientific adviser Hella Jürgens Script Wolfgang Bruckschen Cinematographer Axel Block, Ingo Kratisch Assistant cinematographer Melanie Walz Light design Melanie Walz Sound Karl-Heinz Rösch Mixing Gerhard Jensen Music excerpts from Gustav Mahlers Lied von der Erde Set designer, costume designer, make up Ursula Lefkes Props Ursula Lefkes, Jörg Papke Production manager Wolfgang Bruckschen Cast Ingemo Engström (Krankenschwester), Jeff Laysound (Hochöfner), Reneé Schlesier (Trauernde), Stephan Mattusch (Ingenieur), Willem Menne (Ingenieur), Peter Fitz (Ingenieur), Hildegard Schmahl (Frau), Konrad Born (Lernender), Friedelm Ptok (Schlotbaron), Ingrid Oppermann (Kommunistin), Wolfgang Winkler (Kommunist), Peter Nau (Kommunist), Caroline Neubaur (schöne Bürgersfrau), Harun Farocki (Harun Farocki) Narrator Harun Farocki Production Harun Farocki Filmproduktion (In-house production, financed by the participants) Executive producer Jörg Papke  Format 16mm, b/w, 1:1,66 Length 83 min. First screening 05.11.1978, Duisburger Filmwoche First release 17.11.1978 Berlin-West (Cinema Bundesallee) Distributor Basis First broadcast 11.12.1993, Hessen 3 Awards Prix Carosse d´Or 1978