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|The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum - Criterion Collection|
Actors: Angela Winkler, Mario Adorf, Dieter Laser, Jürgen Prochnow, Heinz Bennent
Directors: Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
As the result of a passing contact with someone wanted by the authorities, Katharina's life and dignity are destroyed by those who are supposed to uphold the law. — Genre: Foreign Film - German — Rating: UN — Release Date: 25... more »
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Don't believe everything you read
Peter Shelley | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 04/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"German director Volker Schlondorff's adaptation of the novel by Heinrich Boll is a terrifying indictment of the perversion of "freedom of the press". Although all Katharina Blum appears to be guilty of is picking up a man from a party, that one night causes her notoriety when it turns out the man is an army deserter and a thief. It is assumed Katharina is suspect by association, and her life is scrutinised by the police and the "gutter" press, every nuance projected with ulterior motive. The police here are as much to blame for Katharina's nightmare, since they feed the press the details of her life and the press subsequently interpret them to present her in the most damaging way. The press' justification for humiliating her is that the public has a right to know, but whose life doesn't feature things to be misconstrued, or aspects that are so private that they cannot be explained? The point that the newspaper publishing articles about her is considered "gutter" doesn't alter the potency of the effect it has. The reactions of the public to Katharina demonstrates our willingness to believe the worst about celebrity, and the vicious food cycle of press and it's readership. Katharina's employer tells her that no one takes the paper seriously but she replies that everyone she knows reads it. The horror of this tale is the way Katharina eventually acts to restore her lost sense of honour, which ironically makes her a tragic figure, her story evidence of the cruelty of fate. Schlondorff undoubedly knows that this material is gothic enough without needing to highten it further with effects, and he presents it simply, with discrete almost inperceptible music. As Katharina, Angela Winkler has the ordinary look of her mousy housemaid, but also the dark eyes of someone with hidden depths."
BEWARE VIGILANTE PRESS AND POLICE
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 04/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although first released in 1975, THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM (Criterion) grows more relevant every day. Adapted from a political parable by Nobel Prize for literature winner Heinrich Boll (1917-1985), The Lost Honor Honor of Katharina Blum is a searing examination of the power of the Press and the State to persecute. On the morning after a one-night stand, the police burst into Blum's apartment looking for her lover, an alleged terrorist. He is gone and Blum is arrested for aiding and hiding a fugitive. The media focus, the ruthless interrogation by the police and the greed driven feeding frenzy of the tabloid press turns Blum's life upside down. Angela Winkler gives a bold and compassionate performance as the put-upon Katharina Blum who finally explodes in defense of her own sanity. This great film, tense and meaningful, is laced with dark humor. Extras include a new video interview with directors Volker Schlondorff and Margarethe von Trotta and master cinematographer Jost Vacano. Also, excerpts from a 1977 documentary on German author and activist Boll. Highly recommended."
The Power of the Press
Jens Haetty | Burlington, VT United States | 02/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie stems from a time when German movie making was at its zenith, in the 70s and early 80s. The script of this film is very true to the book of the same title, written by the German Nobel Laureate Heinrich Boell. A woman, who has had a brief affair with a man supsected to be a left-wing terrorist is arrested by the police, who want to link her to terrorism as well. Despite the aggressive attempts by the interrogating police officers to talk her into submission and to strip her of her dignity, they fail to produce anything of value to their alleged case. The press, however, (symbolized as a sensation-hungry tabloid, modelled after the German daily "Bild") manages in a smear campaign to "indict" her in public. This is a very powerful, maybe a little bit outdated movie, where an incredibly great cast had been assembled: Angela winkler in the title role (she also stars in "The Tin Drum"), Mario Adorf as a police officer, and Heinz Bennent."