Schwarzer Kies (Black Gravel), made in 1961, was directed in American B movie style. After its premiere, the press was critical of the film, which took a pessimistic view of society in post-war Germany. One scene in the film also exposed Käutner to accusations of anti-Semitism. Käutner re-edited the film for the German market, giving it a somewhat less gloomy ending. The original version, as well as the theatrical version, survived in the archives of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Foundation. The foundation has now undertaken to digitise the original, premiere version, to safeguard it for the future.
“Käutner’s film is an outstanding example of an unvarnished view of the depths of Western Germany’s post-war reality. The use of the direct and high-contrast language of a B movie makes it a rarity that can now be re-discovered”, comments Rainer Rother, head of the Berlinale Retrospective section and artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek.
The full Berlinale Classics programme will be announced in January 2017.
The following films have been confirmed:
By Rafi Bukai, Israel 1986
International premiere of the digitally restored version
In 2K DCP
By Felipe Cazals, Mexico 1976
World premiere of the digitally restored version
In 2K DCP
Schwarzer Kies (Black Gravel)
By Helmut Käutner, West Germany 1961
World premiere of the digital version
In 4K DCP
December 12, 2016