Mack the Knife – Brecht's Threepenny Film

Sunday, February 3
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2hr 10mins // directed by:Joachim Lang // featuring:Lars Eidinger, Tobias Moretti, Hannah Herzsprung // in German with English subtitles

Presented by the Goethe Institute Boston.

Following the phenomenal worldwide success of The Threepenny Opera in 1928 in Berlin, cinema is trying to win over the author of the piece. But Bertolt Brecht is not willing to play by the film industry’s rules. His vision for the Threepenny Film is radical, uncompromising, political and pointed. He wants to make a completely new kind of film and knows that the production company will never agree to it. It is only interested in cashing in. While the London gangster Macheath’s fight with the head of the beggar’s mob Mr. Peachum begins to take shape in the film version in front of the author’s eyes, Brecht seeks the public dispute. He takes the production company to court in order to prove that their monetary interests are taking precedence over his right as author… a poet directs reality – that was unprecedented!

Director Joachim Lang connects his interpretation of the Threepenny story with the genesis of Brecht’s exposé for a Threepenny Film that has never been on screen. It takes the audience to Berlin during the Roaring Twenties in a framework plot that shows how the artists attempt to shoot a movie while confronting the film industry.