Singing the Blues in Red


Action / Drama


Uploaded By: LINUS
Downloaded 5,010 times
January 30, 2016 at 04:33 AM



Cristine Rose as Lucy Bernstein
720p 1080p
796.9 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 2 / 0
1.67 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 3 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Emil Bakkum 7 / 10

On personal integrity in oppressive regimes

Although the film Fatherland is made by the Englishman Ken Loach, it is essentially located in Germany. Part of the dialogs are in fact in the German language. It is striking that I could not buy the film on, and eventually found it in the megastore Dussmann in Berlin. Fatherland looks like a low-budget produce, just like many other Ken Loach movies. It lacks spectacle and glamor. Nevertheless, Loach invariably is talented in the selection of his themes. Here the subject is living under conditions of oppression, and maintaining ones personal integrity. The main character is Drittemann, who is a singer in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, or in German DDR). In his song texts and interviews he rebels against the regime, and as a result is constantly threatened by the prohibition to travel, occupational expulsion or even imprisonment. On the other hand, he is devoted to his country and therefore can rely on some sympathy, even within the regime itself. Eventually, the regime gives him the choice: back down (make excuses etc.), or be exiled to the west (without his wife and son). Being unable to adapt socially, he prefers the latter. Of course the authorities in West-Berlin want to hail his defection as a victory of their system. However, this is not so easy. Although the dissidents, fighting their system like an underdog and Don Quichote, naturally obtain our warm sympathy, their personalities are usually highly unpleasant, rude, asocial, pigheaded and egocentric. For it are these character traits, that allow them to remain dissidents. Dissidents are innate quarrelers, without proper leverage, bordering on mental disorder. When Solshenitsyn finally emigrated to the USA, he immediately turned into a severe critic of the American way of life. Soon the mutual love waned, and Solshenitsyn settled in Europe. Anyway, in the west Drittemann attempts to trace his father, who defected several decades earlier. His father has the reputation of being a true Bolshevist, who could not stand the bureaucracy and intimidation. In the end, Drittemann finds his father in England, where he lives under the name Dryden. It turns out that his father is an opportunist, and has even worked as a spy for the CIA and the fascist Gestapo. Now that his true identity is revealed, his father fears to be killed by the American or Bolshewist secret service. Indeed a few days later the father dies by means of strangulation, either due to suicide or murder (the narrative does not clarify this matter). It is clear that the movie addresses the issue of maintaining ones individual integrity under existential threats. Personally, I am more fascinated by the problem of how to yield constructive criticism. The story had the chance to elaborate on this matter, since Drittemann seems to paraphrase the GDR singer Wolf Biermann, who went into exile in 1976. Biermann is an abusive version of the young recalcitrant Bob Dylan. Some citations of Biermanns texts may be enlightening: "In the newspaper I see your mugs. And still tomorrow you will rot and be forgotten. Now you sit in fat blubber like thick German maggots". Or: "The laziest pigs call us stinking lazy. The liars pretend to speak the truth. The most twisted dogs demand sincerity. Civil rights are abandoned, and they call it real freedom. Socialism has won, means that the bureaucrats gain their jobs". Etc. No self-respecting government would appreciate such populist and anti-intellectual phrases. Singers like these are a warning that demagogic opposition may turn into something worse and more evil than the reigning order. Perhaps the people have become aware of this aspect, because today such songs are rare. In conclusion, although I enjoy the theme of the dissident singer, I find the working-out by Loach unsatisfactory. But it was never boring.

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