April 27, 7:30 pm, Zeughauskino

IT/CH/BRD 1969, D: Luchino Visconti, S: Nicola Badalucco, Enrico Medioli, Luchino Visconti, C: Armando Nannuzzi, Pasquale De Santis, with: Dirk Bogade, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem, Helmut Berger, 154', 35mm, OV (English)

In opulent, at times operatic images, Visconti's LA CADUTA DEGLI DEI tells the story of the downfall of an industry family at the beginning of the Third Reich. The fire at the Reichstag and the Röhm Putsch are the historical parentheses between which the seductive allure of nazism, the capitalist lust for power and the moral downfall of a family dynasty are displayed. In the von Essenbeck family, references to the industry family of Alfred Krupp can be recognized without difficulty. Furthermore, Visconti was reacting to Wagner's Tetralogy in his “German trilogy”, comprised of LA CADUTA DEGLI DEI (1968), MORTE A VENEZIA (1971) and LUDWIG II. (1973). In these films, he researched key moments in German history, penetrating ever deeper inside it with every step. The Italian title LA CADUTA DEGLI DEI references the name of the final part of Richard Wagner's “Ring” – “Twilight of the Gods” – because, according to Visconti: “Even in our times, the gods are active and mix with men, not unlike the pagan gods or Wagner's heroes. The instrument of their power is money; the temple of their cult is the factory studded with smokestacks.” (“I”, Luchino Visconti). (kj)

Introduction: Bernd Kiefer