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JOHN HEARTFIELD, FOTOMONTEUR

Germany, 1977 (MIFF 1978)

Director: Helmut Herbst

John Heartfield, born in 1901, was a Dadaist, whose speciality was the application of photomontage techniques to political tracts and newspapers. His satirical art works infuriated the Nazis, particularly his posters depicting Hitler as a grotesque superman'.

Heartfield was a leading figure in the Berlin Dada movement, which included George Grosz, Hannah Hoech and the Baader-Hausmann-Huelsenbeck group. But in contrast to the moral protest registered by this group against the bourgeoisie.

Heartfield concentrated on political enlightenment and propaganda. Technical developments enabled widespread distribution of his photo-montage works. It was the extraordinarily wide distribution of the legendary Arbeiter-lllustnerte-Zeitung of Munzenberg, which first made Heartfieid's photo-montage into a political weapon.

This film, made in the same montage style with graphics and animation is based on several years of research by Eckhard Siepmann, and contains a great deal of previously unknown material

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