2h 27min · Documentary · 7 November 1958
Bertolt Brecht's grand epic of political theater, written in 1931, is an adaptation of Maxim Gorki's novel by the same title. It tells the moving story of an oppressed Russian woman who is transformed into a militant revolutionary. The original production, written for the Berliner Ensemble, was condemned by Stalinist critics as "formalist" and "politically harmful," although it was hugely popular. Filmed by DEFA, this production - directed after Brecht's death by Manfred Wekwerth - retains much of Brecht's original cast, with a landmark performance by Helene Weigel in the title role.
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DEFA Film Library