Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Algol. Tragödie der Macht

Algol. Tragedy of Power


Mineworker Robert Herne is joined by a new colleague – Algol. The extraterrestrial visitor, from a faraway star system of the same name, gives Herne a machine that turns the radiation from his home planet into energy. It becomes the capital for the “Bios plant” with which Herne transforms himself into Earth’s ruler by making every country economically dependent on him. Except for one. In a neighbouring agricultural country, Peter Hell is organising timid resistance to the hostile takeover. Hell is the son of Herne’s childhood sweetheart, who has emigrated ... “The rule of coal is over. The Bios plant will power the worldfrom this day forward!” Algol is both a dynasty drama and a gloomy portrait of an industrial dystopia. It can also be understood as a didactic warning that replacing conventional fuels with renewable energy in a monopolistic market can lead to new dependencies. Algol was also far ahead of its time dramatically; the dichotomy presented in the film between the bright “overworld” of the rich and powerful, and the dark “underworld” of the labour slaves would become a constituent element of the science-fiction genre.

Hans Werckmeister

Germany 1920

German intertitles

104’ · 2K DCP

Digitally restored version 2011


Emil Jannings
Hanna Ralph
Gertrud Welcker
Ernst Hofmann
Käte Haack
Hans Adalbert Schlettow
Erna Morena
John Gottowt
Sebastian Droste


Hans Werckmeister
Hans Brennert, Friedel Köhne
Axel Graatkjær, Herrmann Kricheldorff, three days
Set Construction
Walter Reimann

Produced by

Deutsche Lichtbildgesellschaft

DCP: Filmmuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum, München