Brot und Filme (1981)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Military & War, Social History  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - West Germany  |  
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Elizabeth Wilms grabbed her new 16m camera in 1942 and began shooting scenes of everyday life in the Ruhr industrial valley where she lived. Her real profession was that of a baker -- hence the title of this documentary -- but her avocation was certainly film. She kept on shooting -- scenes of carnivals and celebrations, before the war brought bombing and killing to German cities, scenes from Muenster before, during, and after its bombing in World War II, scenes of poverty-plagued Germans living in makeshift shelters once the war had ended, and scenes of reconstruction as the world began to piece itself back together again. Writers and directors Juergen Klauss and Michael Lentz had long interviews with Wilms, and after asking her about the 400,000 meters of film in her storage bin, they then viewed nearly 100 clips from her collection in an effort to judge their quality and content. The next step was to piece them together with Wilms' observations, and this 72-minute documentary is the result. Elizabeth Wilms died in 1981 at the age of 76, a few months before the documentary was released, filming with her camera right up to the end.