The Battle. Scenes from Germany

A Communist shoots his brother 'turned' to become a Nazi whilst being held by the Gestapo. A party member and family father who, having 'helped' his wife and daughter to depart this life so that they need not 'live in shame' after Hitler's death, nevertheless spares his own life: "The strong are most powerful when alone".

People seeking protection in a bombed out cellar inform on a deserter to an SS patrol. The advancing Red Army give bread to the dead young man's supposed parents. Even the title of dramatist Heiner Müller's cycle, The Battle outlines the military / foreign policy struggle against fascism and at the same time the ideological / domestic struggle. Where may post-war plays still saw examples of virtue, his Scenes from Germany show the confrontation as being neither a fight between anonymous powers nor a question of individual guilt or virtue, but as being made up of grotesque distortions, as mad consequence.

Müller does not want to 'get over' the past but rather to think further in radical language and reach the real boundaries of this 'ice age'; mechanisms for forgetting such as those which facilitated post-war reconstruction have no place here.

(Production note)

Original title Die Schlacht. Szenen aus Deutschland Director, television adaptation Harun Farock, Hanns Zischler, based on a stage play by Heiner Müller Cinematographer Jupp Steiof Video Technician Peter Schlögel Editor Lilo Gieseler Sound Hans Joachim König Set designer Walter Hallerstede Costume designer Brigitte Schünemann Make up Horst Mühlbrandt Production manager Erwin Dräger Cast Marie Bardischewski, Ulrike Bliefert, Lili Schönborn-Anspach, Gisela Stein, Joachim Baumann, Peter Fitz, Otto Mächtlinger, Willem Menne, Hubert Skolud et al. Production SFB, Berlin-West TV-producer Jürgen Tomm Executive Producer Martin Stachowitz  Format 2-inch-MAZ, col., 1:,1,37 Length 52 min. First broadcast 10.05.1976, Nord 3