Commando 52

(Kommando 52)

GDR, 1965, 33 min, b&w
In German; no subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Editor
Camera
Sound
Narrator
Production Company

Synopsis

A portrait of the eponymous German-French mercenary squad—led by ex-Wehrmacht soldier Siegfried Müller (aka Kongo-Müller)—that was responsible for some of the worst massacres of the 1964 Congo Crisis. Heynowski compiles photos, diaries, tapes, and images of the corpses of African freedom fighters. Morbid footage of colonial atrocities, Herwart Grosse’s foreboding voice-over, and Eisensteinian editing techniques are mobilized to make a visceral, emotional appeal to audiences at international festivals about atrocities committed by West Germans and Americans in the Third World.

 

Directed for the DEFA Studio for Weekly Newsreels and Documentary Films before Heynowski joined with Gerhard Scheumann, the film exhibits formative elements of what would become the distinctive style of the independently financed, agitprop film team, Studio H&S.

Awards

1965 Golden Dove, Leipzig Short and Documentary Film Week

Availability

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