September 26, 2023


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ARD movie review 3 and a half hours on the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961

ARD movie review 3 and a half hours on the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961

In “3 and a half hours”, for example, disputes of conscience and decision-making run on the German tracks. “We were interested in the pan-German perspective and the effects of the construction of the wall on people in the East and West,” explains producer Michael Lehmann of Studio Hamburg. So the story is made up of stories. Not as the last view of things, but as an open panorama. Colorful kettle instead of black and white washing. Brilliantly said, not explained. or morally. With “3 and a half hours”, ARD was able to do something out of the ordinary.

Dense catalog of themes

The fact that the grandparents of screenwriter Robert Krause were on such a train in August 1961 certainly contributed to the fact that “3 Hours” was not another Berlin film. Instead, the perspective has now been expanded, and the catalog of topics has become thicker. East German plane building (cancelled in April 1961), steroids, Nazi era, homosexuality, Stasi IM, dreams of a different life and Jewish trauma – it’s all about a lot. There are no accusations and a pointed index finger. It will likely be heard. Marlis, the woman from the planning committee of the GDR, doesn’t understand why people are leaving (“they don’t understand socialism yet”) – and it doesn’t seem stubborn at all.

It’s a new way of thinking about that fateful August 13, 1961, which did more harm than good to the German Democratic Republic. A family with two children in doubt: Going back or starting over? But can she go as a companion while her father builds the wall as a colonel? A quiet man (excellent for mental disorder: Peter Schneider from Leipzig), who is on his way to their wedding with their future and young son, is overtaken by debts from the Nazi years. The assertive coach comes with her greatest talent from an all-German competition. Two criminals (first class: Martin Weifel as one of them) get on the train and look for steroids.

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A rock on the train between regions

A couple of pensioners from Leipzig are swinging. If the boundaries are tight, they will never see their son again. There is a row between a young band, success in the East, just an empty house in Munich. Carla, the optimistic blonde singer, does not want to return, others just want to go to Paris, Sasha, Carla’s great love, to the GDR. First of all, however, they rock the inter-regional train in Mitropa – a lot musically today. Even with a melancholy catchy melody. The poem-like “If you go” has what it takes to become a hit.

She joined all the train stories one in Berlin (Volkspolizei site on the wall) and one at the Propstzella border railway station. There’s a young train driver going into two shifts in front of the board with the Best Brigade: she pairs her steam locomotive in the West to the D 151 and fetches it. They are supposed to be accompanied by a photographer. He shoots a portrait – and, oddly enough, he dreams of Hollywood. In those times, movie buffs were more inclined to stick with Nouvelle Vague.

Also shooting in Görlitz

Director Ed Herzog, who skillfully and quickly combines Zug and Zett, shot the film last year in August and September – also in Görlitz. Real Film Berlin has produced two Golden Globes and eight Emmy Awards for the Netflix hit “Unconventional”. The movie “3 Hours” will also be shown on Saturday, August 7 at 8:15 pm on ARD channel.

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Written by Norbert Weerstedt