Ciske de Rat is the story of an eleven year old lonely street child Ciske (Franciskus) Vrijmoeth, who has no friends and is only called “the rat”. The setting is in Amsterdam in the 1930s. Ciske has to change school, because he poured ink over his teacher’s head. After school, he helps out in a pub, where his mother Marie also works. His beloved father Cor is a fisherman and therefore not at home. The story is told by his new teacher Bruis, who gives him a chance.
Wolfgang Staudte was born in Saarbrücken, in 1906, to parents who were both actors. Six years later, his family moved to Berlin. He trained to be an engineer before he began performing at the Volksbühne in Berlin, where he worked with Max Reinhardt and Erwin Piscator from 1926 to 1932.
Wolfgang Staudte is one of the few important German directors of the postwar years. Die Mörder sind unter uns , the first German postwar film, remains today among the director’s best works. In the film, a surgeon, Hans Mertens, returns home from the war, becomes an alcoholic, and lives hopelessly among the ruins. His girlfriend Susanne has survived a concentration camp and attempts to help him overcome his apathy. The apathy is quickly dispelled by the appearance of an industrialist, formerly a Nazi, whose outlook remains unchanged and who, just as before the war, uses deceptive phrases to justify the new situation.
This contemporary material was realized by Staudte in a thoroughly realistic… read more