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THE SUDDEN FORTUNE OF THE PEOPLE OF KOMBACH

West Germany, 1971 (MIFF 1972)

Director: Volker Schlöndorff

Within the framework of a social parable, the film attempts to show how easily the structure of a society works to prevent the under-privileged from recognising their true position. Dealing with the oppression of German peasantry in the 1820's, it demonstrates by implication how superstition and religion, pompous educational concepts and a paternalistic interpretation of the law, can turn poor people into clumsy fools who are taught to laugh at their own miserable fate—and to accept it as God-given.

Based on a true incident, the film tell of a group of impoverished peasants, suffering under the burdens of crippling taxation and official repression, who attempt, in desperation, to ambush and rob the coach which carries the fortnightly tax money.

After five unsuccessful attempts, they finally succeed. Due to their low status, they immediately fall under suspicion, because "money in poor families is always suspect".

See also...

THE TIN DRUM

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YOUNG TORLESS

This faithful screen version of Robert Musil's well-known novel is a major work of the new German cinema. Set in a remote Austrian boarding school before the First World War. the story centres on one ... More »

SUMMER LIGHTNING

Summer Lightning is directed by Volker Schlondorff who has won an international reputation with films like Young Torless and The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People of Kombach, and it stars his wife ... More »

THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM

Katharina Blum is a divorcee, young, attractive and shy. At a party, she meets a young man and they go back to her apartment. In the morning, heavily armed police burst in, but the young man has ... More »

COUP DE GRÂCE

Coup de grace is set in an unnamed Baltic State, in 1919 After the Russian Revolution, the defeated Germans sent volunteer troops to join the Expeditionary Forces fighting the revolutionaries At that ... More »

THE CELL

"The best description of freedom is the description of a prison cell. A film about political prisoners, about total isolation in prison, in solitary confinement; about the compulsion of a system ... More »

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