Kuhle Wampe, or Who Owns the World?

Original title: (Kuhle Wampe oder Wem gehört die Welt?)
Germany, 1932, 69 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles

The 2008 digitally-restored transfer of the original Weimar period masterpiece, in which an avant-garde, fragmented narrative is used to tell the story of a working-class family in Berlin in 1931.


Survival is difficult, with massive unemployment in the wake of the Great Depression. After Anni's brother commits suicide in despair, her family finds itself forced to move to Kuhle Wampe, a lakeside camp on the outskirts of Berlin, now home to increasing numbers of unemployed. When Anni's relationship with Franz ends, she moves back to Berlin and gets involved in the workers' youth movement.

Special features:
  • Improved English subtitles, supervised by Brecht scholar Marc Silbermann
  • How the Berlin Worker Lives (1930, dir. Slatan Dudow)
  • Slatan Dudow: A Film Essay about a Marxist Artist (1974, dir. Volker Koepp)
  • Original Prolog to Kuhle Wampe, with Herbert Jhering, 1958
  • Before & After: Restoring Kuhle Wampe (2008, dir. Marta Carlson)
  • “At the Hairdresser’s with Brecht and Dudow,” from a 1981 interview by film historian Ralf Schenk
  • “On Kuhle Wampe,” an essay by film scholar Marc Silberman
  • "The Second Life of Kuhle Wampe," by Wolfgang Klaue
  • Biographies & Filmographies

Kuhle Wampe, or Who Owns the World?

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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