From an early novel by Anna Seghers. The feature-film debut by the German theatre director, Erwin Piscator, who emigrated to Moscow – and his only film. This lavish and expensive production was started by a German-Russian team, but filming had to stop and could only continue when a second attempt was made: this time with Soviet performers only. Stalin didn't like the film, so it was not shown much in the cinemas. Piscatorial later emigrated to Paris and the USA. He never possessed a copy of the film, however.
Deep-sea fishermen rise up against the entrepreneurs and the buyers, because they want higher wages for their hard and difficult work. Expressive pictures of wretched life in a fishing village, with a shabby pub as a centre of communication. A young and much-desired woman, who lives there, adds to the men's confusion. The funeral of a victim becomes an occasion for opulently staged mass activity by the fishermen in which the barren countryside and the bizarre buildings also play their part.
The German premiere of the rediscovered silent version of the film.
Print courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin