Based on a true incident, the film tells of a group of impoverished peasants, suffering under the burdens of crippling taxation and official repression, who attempt, in desperation, to ambush and rob the coach which carries the fortnightly tax money. After five unsuccessful attempts, they finally succeed. Due to their low status, they immediately fall under suspicion because “money in poor families is always suspect”.
Director Schlondorff is especially interested in understanding the political history of Germany, and the irrationality into which the 19th century poor were forced: Their dreams were of either sudden wealth through discovering treasure or emigration to America. — Melbourne Film Festival Programme, 1972.
Volker Schlöndorff (born 31 March 1939 in Wiesbaden, Germany) is a Berlin-based German filmmaker.
He won an Oscar as well as the Palme d’or at the Cannes Film Festival for The Tin Drum (1979), the film version of the novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass.
Schlöndorff has adapted many literary works for his movies, including some critically well-received US productions, but he is also engaged in post-war German politics. He served as the chief executive for the UFA studio in Babelsberg. Volker Schlöndorff also teaches film and literature at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, where he conducts an Intensive Summer Seminar.
He was married to fellow film director Margarethe von Trotta from 1971 to 1991. —Wikipedia