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The Second Track
The Second Track
Actors: Annekathrin Burger, Albert Hetterle
Director: Joachim Kunert
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2008     1hr 20min

Station inspector Brock is witness to a robbery. When he fails to report one of the culprits, he experiences flashbacks to his earlier failure to take a stand against Nazi persecutions years ago. The Second Track is the on...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Annekathrin Burger, Albert Hetterle
Director: Joachim Kunert
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/25/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1962
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1962
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: German
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Daringly honest for its time
Carl B. Strange Jr. | Southbury, CT USA | 12/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If "The Second Track" seems less than a comprehensive look at public complicity with inhumanity in the Reich, it nevertheless makes compelling inroads on a supremely difficult subject in postwar Germany.

All the archetypal characters take their place: The anguished father, who did his terrible duty and has never recovered; the martyred mother, who alone is a clear and completely sympathetic character, paying with her life for her heroic but fatal goodness; the consistently depraved catalyst, whose ideology drags him through a life of unhappy dodging and costs him everything along the way; the young lovers, innocent of the past but doomed by it, too. One might include the viewer of 1962, who perhaps would rather not have known this story but must wrestle with its implications on a very personal level.

The father, by finding, ultimately, the courage to confront his own past, can be forgiven for his grim adherence to duty, and the daughter, it is suggested, comes to blame the times, the Nazi evil, instead of her father's part in her mother's death. Six million Jews are represented by just the one, whose straightforward death from a pistol shot symbolizes almost antiseptically the ghastly truth.

The film has been compared to the work of Hitchcock, and though it is a suspense movie, its moral and political dimensions go quite beyond anything Hitchcock did. It manages to transcend its own context, telling us important things about how parents spin the past to their children. What did your parents, or mine, cover up to protect us children and our concepts of ourselves?

"The Second Track" may seem tame by comparison to "Schinlder's List" and other films, but seat yourself, mentally, in a theater in Berlin in 1962, just 17 years after the liberation of the camps, and you can hardly escape a chill.
Dark Secrets of the Nazi Era
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 03/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Second Track"

Dark Secrets of the Nazi Era

Amos Lassen

A classic of German cinema because of its frank portrayal of East German complicity in Nazi war crimes can now be seen. "The Second Track" (First Run Features) directed by Joachim Kunert is a bit of homage to Hitchcock, Sirk, Preminger and Carol Reed as it borrows from the Hollywood vernacular as it uses uncanny touches to show that East Germany played a large part in war crimes. Made in 1962, we have never has a chance to see this film until now. It is filmed in black and white which adds to the menacing effect of the film.
A train station inspector witnesses a robbery. He recognizes one of the thieves but chooses not to disclose this to the authorities. In the meantime the thief sets his partner after the very same inspector's daughter which sets in motion the unearthing of dark secrets from Germany's Nazi past. As these come to light, we get a shocking look at some things that we have never known.
The film had me on the edge of my seat for its entire eighty minutes. It is subversive in what it says which says to me that there is a great deal of reality in it. The acting is first rate and the cinematography is in a class of its own.