Hans Bronstein is about to finish secondary school and needs to decide what to do next with his life. He has a girlfriend, Martha Lepschitz, who is an actress and whose parents seems to accept him with even fewer reservations than they accept their own daughter. Martha's profession also provides a motif that comments on the cultural context of the film: as the Holocaust intrudes on Hans's life and his relationship with his father through the narrative, Martha finds acting jobs in the presumably quite conventional output of Holocaust films, in which Jews are consistently portrayed as victims, confined safely to the historical past. Hans has considerably more difficulty dealing with his Father, who is opinionated and authoritarian in regard to his son, and with his sister Elle, who is hospitalized in a mental institution. Her affliction leads her to attack people at random, in the apparent belief that they are about to do her harm.
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DEFA Film Library
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