Filming Stärker als die Nacht © DEFA-Stiftung, Manfred Klawikowski
Slatan Dudow was born in Zaribrod, Bulgaria, on January 30, 1903. Influenced by revolutionary ideas, Dudow moved to Berlin at nineteen. He abandoned his earlier plan to study architecture and instead studied theater with Max Herrmann from 1925 to 1926.
Dudow was also fascinated with film and became a film reviewer for a Bulgarian newspaper. He was on the set for the filming of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Working for the International Workers’ Relief, he supported the AgitProp movement and, from 1927 to 1928, he was a chorus member in Erwin Piscator’s Theater Collective in Berlin.
A trip to Moscow in 1929, where he learned more about Vladimir Mayakovsky and saw films by Eisenstein, Podovkin and others, proved decisive for Dudow’s career. Upon his return from Moscow, he directed the Brecht/Eisler production The Measures Taken as he began his film career. He was commissioned to produce the short film Wie der Arbeiter wohnt as part of a documentary series on current issues. Kuhle Wampe, oder Wem gehört die Welt? was his first feature film.
In 1933, Dudow was arrested and interrogated by the Nazis. Once freed, he worked illegally on his film Seifenblasen until he had to go underground; this film was not finished until he was in exile in France. While in France he worked on a satire of fascism entitled The Hand that Would Not Salute, but could not find a producer. Dudow also directed eight scenes of Brecht’s “Private Life of the Master Race,” which premiered in Paris in 1938 under the title “99%,” starring Helene Weigel and Ernst Busch.
Because of his political work, Dudow was expelled from France in 1940 and fled to Switzerland. There he mainly worked on comedies, which were later published under the pseudonym Stefan Brodwin. In 1946, Dudow returned to Berlin and worked at the East German DEFA studios as an artistic advisor and director. Slatan Dudow died in a car accident near Berlin on July 12, 1963, while working on Christine.
|1955||Journalists' Award for Best Film, Locarno Film Festival, for Stärker als die Nacht|
|1955||National Prize, Class 2 for Stärker als die Nacht|
|1952||Best Director, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, for Frauenschicksale|
|1950||National Prize, Class 3 for Unser täglich Brot|
Bibliography & More:
|1994||Der Mann, der die Frauen liebte – Erinnerungen an Slatan Dudow (The Man Who Loved Women: Memoirs of Slatan Dudow, TV doc., 30 min., dir. Ullrich Kasten)|
|1974||Slatan Dudow – Ein Filmessay über einen marxistischen Künstler (Slatan Dudow: A Film Essay about a Marxist Artist, doc., 30 min., dir. Volker Koepp)|
|1959||Verwirrung der Liebe (Love's Confusion)|
|1956||Der Hauptmann von Köln (The Captain of Cologne)|
|1954||Stärker als die Nacht (Stronger than the Night)|
|1952||Frauenschicksale (Destinies of Women)|
|1950||Immer bereit (Always Ready, doc.)|
|1950||Familie Benthin (The Benthin Family)|
|1949||Unser täglich Brot (Our Daily Bread)|
|1934||Seifenblasen (Soap Bubbles)|
|1932||Kuhle Wampe, oder Wem gehört die Welt? (Kuhle Wampe, or Who Owns the World?)|
|1930||Zeitprobleme: Wie der Berliner Arbeiter wohnt (How the Berlin Worker Lives, doc.)|