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Georg

1964

Dir. Stanton Kaye, 16mm Black and White Sound 00:50:00

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Description

A German soldier in World War II who is filming a battle finds his lost motion picture camera-still running-among the enemy dead. The events of the film are seen through this camera: Georg is the leading character in the story; he is the cinematographer who films the events as they transpire, occasionally directing on-camera; and he narrates the action. Georg's voice pleads for people to "understand". He proceeds to set up a home movie screen and show slides and movies from his boyhood: of his brother, who was injured in the war and extolled by everybody: his parents, the depressing state of the family after the war and their emigration to the United States in 1950. In their new home in Illinois, his father constantly watches television while Georg works in a Volkswagen plant. The father dies; soon afterward Georg gets married and moves into a small trailer in a semi-arid rural location. There Georg is harassed by everyone around him for alleged acts of the past. Despite their hope to escape, the war seems to hound Georg and his wife. They discover a sinister missile site just over the hill from their trailer. One day they throw stones at one of the missiles, and soldiers chase them away. Georg's wife becomes pregnant, and they run out of money; despondent, his wife dies in childbirth. Georg longs for a time when people will be more understanding of one another, and he wonders if anyone will ever "find" him. Once again he challenges the soldiers guarding the missile site, but they shoot him down. Georg's camera, mounted on a tripod, continues to film the scene. One of the soldiers cautiously approaches the camera, wondering what it could be, and finally realized its harmlessness. The soldiers depart, but the camera runs on until the end.

[Source: Richard P. Krafsur, The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films, 1961-1970, Part 2, 1997]