The Culture of the Weimar Republic

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade March 2006

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The Weimar Republic was struggling with lots of political problems, so it had to take the culture seriously, if it did not want it to be forgotten by their own society. The most productive city in arts and sciences in the 1920s was Berlin - the capital of the Republic. At this time German artists made important cultural contributions in making new movies. American movies became popular in Germany because the stories were simple, there were lots of actions, physical humor and stars playing the main roles. The Germans didn't want to be worse so they were inventing new ways of shooting the movies.

During the 1920s the Germans had only two types of movies: realistic and psychological or fantastic and mystical. The first ones, mostly were random stories full of love and fights, that had always a happy ending. The other one exposed to the new German intellectual currents of Freud and Weber.

Psychological movies were set in middle class present, they were all about the feelings and thoughts of the characters. But more successful were the fantastic and mystical movies. Actors were always dressing up as monsters -as they didn't have the technology we having today- haunting 'beautiful' princesses, or there were zombies coming out of the graves and walking into the city. Dark and mysterious, also contained some parts of the political events just like Lotte Eisner's "The haunted screen' "(...)The revival of fantasy after a revolution that failed was the reaction of a cultural minority to their exclusion from the course of historical events. It was the expression of a frustrated desire for change, rather than resistance. The German silent cinema, despite its commercial elements, remained an alternative cinema. It appropriated the codes of representation and conflict in which a society recognizes its moral and psychological...