University of Rochester

Film Historian Discusses First Post-War German Feature Film

March 17, 2005

Ralf Schenk, a noted film historian and journalist, will present and discuss the 1946 classic film The Murderers Are Among Us, which is being shown at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31, as part of the presentations in the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House. Admission to the event is free for University of Rochester students, staff, and faculty with ID.

The first feature film produced in Germany after World War II, The Murderers Are Among Us explores the nationís coming to terms with its Nazi past. The story, which was filmed among the ruins of Berlin, follows the relationship between a concentration camp survivor and a doctor who served as an officer in a death camp. The 85-minute film is in German with English subtitles.

Schenk will discuss the film as the earliest example in a series of East German anti-fascist films produced over four decades by the DEFA studios in the German Democratic Republic. A distinguished scholar of DEFA history, he is the author of numerous books about eastern European film, including the annually published yearbook of the DEFA foundation. Schenk has worked as an editor for many publications and has written film reviews as well as television programs about German and international film history.

The event is presented by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures German Section and is co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students in the College, the Film and Media Studies Program, the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies, Eastman School of Music, and the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House.

For more information, contact the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at x5-4251.