The Second Life of Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Platow

(Das zweite Leben des Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Platow)

GDR, 1973, 90 min, color/b&w
In German; English subtitles
Credits:
Director
Script
Dramaturg
Editor
Camera
Set Design
Costume Design
Music (Score)
Music (Performance)
Cast
Producer
Production Company

Synopsis

Refusing to accept that he has become redundant when his job is automated, Platow, a 57-year-old railway crossing guard, embarks on a new life rebelling against the path laid out by society. Pretending to be his son, he enrolls in a training course and starts to live a second youth.

Commentary

Director Siegfried Kühn was influenced by his mentor, the renowned Russian film director Sergei Gerasimov. Here he experiments with color, separating day-to-day dreariness in b&w, from scenes in color conveying an optimistic, imaginative vitality. 

 

Officials criticized this satirical comedy, with music by the East German rock band The Puhdys, for showing a “distorted image of the working class.” Despite its very limited release, it quickly became an insiders’ tip.

Press comments

“One of the best DEFA comedies ever, with the outstandingly absurd Fritz Marquardt in the leading role, who channels both Karl Valentin and Buster Keaton.”

 —The German Historical Museum, Berlin

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