In the middle of an economic crisis, the workers are living in poverty and struggling to find a little happiness and get a warm meal. Mother Krause lives with her two grown-up children, as well as a shady “bed lodger” and his lover – a prostitute with a child – on just a few square metres. In next to no time, tensions build up, and soon crime is involved too. Mother Krausen’s painstakingly preserved order collapses. This story has lost hardly any of its relevance. In those days, columns of marching workers calling out “Join the ranks!” indicated a possible way out. But the older generation went to the dogs.
The project came about in honour of Heinrich Zille, who had died only a short while before. He had described his “milyeu” in great detail – all that was lacking now was the film. It was shot by Phil Jutzi, who was advised by Kaethe Kollwitz, in the style and spirit of Soviet Russian cinema – the Soviet films being imported and loaned by Prometheus, the production company. Rejecting banal entertainment and commercial success, Jutzi relied on the power of insight. A classic of proletarian cinema – and a key work of the “red dream factory”. —Berlinale
Phil Jutzi (sometimes known as Piel Jutzi) (July 22, 1896 – May 1, 1946) was a German cameraman and movie director.
Born Philipp Jutzi in Altleiningen as the son of a tailor, Jutzi was self-educated. (He seems to have been generally known by the Palatinate dialect form of his given name, Piel, but a lawsuit by Harry Piel forced him to go by “Phil,” though many journalists continued to use “Piel.”) In 1916 he made posters for a small movie theater in the Black Forest, having been rejected by the military during World War I because of a physical disability. In 1919 he was an administrator of the Internationale Film-Industrie company in Heidelberg, which specialized in detective movies and westerns. In 1923 he married Emmy Philippine Zimmermann, the sister of the actor Holmes Zimmermann (born Johannes Zimmermann, 1900-1957), who acted in seven of his films; in May 1926 a daughter, Gisela, was born.
In 1925 Jutzi moved to Berlin, where he worked as a documentary cameraman… read more