Essay by rsamburskyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2003

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The film, Metropolis, depicts the epitome of fascism in that a dictator, Jon Fredersen (ruler) lives in wealth and luxury while ruling and dominating over the slave driven working class. Freder, the son of Jon, discovers the inhumane treatment of the underground workers and becomes the "mediator" of the people with Maria (Faith motivator of the people) as the catalyst. Rottwang, an evil scientist, transforms his female robot into the likeness of Maria who turns evil and convinces the underground workers to rebel against Jon's dictatorship. After seeing the intense destruction caused by the workers, Jon realizes that he must treat the workers with compassion and equanimity.

In the late teens and early twenty's, the Germans were experiencing an economic struggle which included inflation. Decadence, violence and insecurity ran wild creating a spark of personal freedom and a movement toward artistic freedom of expression. During the 20's the barriers separating film from art became decidedly blurred in Germany and Europe.

"Abstract expressionism, Dada and the Modernist movement carried over into motion picture making...."1

When the movie was released in 1927, a great deal was expected from the film due to high publicity. Some critics were disappointed in the "butchered" versions of Metropolis which were a result of viewing time constraints. Since the original version was three (3) hours long, projectionists and theater managers increased the viewing speed which changed many key elements and affected the rhythm and pace. Consequently few people saw Metropolis as Fritz Lang had originally intented2. While some critics praised it for its "unparallel scope and ingenuity"3. Others ridiculed it, "...the silliest film. I do not believe it would be possible to make one sillier... That vertical city of the future we know now is, to put it mildly, highly improbable... The hopeless drudge stage of human...