Staying a bit with black and white movies, next screening is a gripping love story from the post-war rubble era directed by acclaimed German director Helmut Käutner (Des Teufels General, Der Hauptmann von Köpenick)  

Himmel ohne Sterne  – Sky Without Stars

West Germany 1955, 109 min., dir. Helmut Käutner, starring Horst Bucholz, Eva Kotthaus, Erik Schumann, German with English subtitles 

DATE: 8 September

TIME: 17h00

VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing 1st Floor, German Programme, Media Room F251 

About the film:
In his film Käutner fashions a unique love story between a West German border guard and an East German factory worker who can meet only in the ruins of a train station in the no man’s land between the divided sectors. As the film heads toward its tragic conclusion, Käutner makes a stirring moral plea against the unnatural partition without engaging in the cold war polemics that often dominated such discussions. Unusual for its direct commentary on contemporary problems, Sky Without Stars was a commercial failure but a critical success. 

Helmut Käutner (1908–1980) was one of the most acclaimed German directors of his generation. Originally working in the theater as an actor and director, he began his film work as a scriptwriter before producing his controversial directorial debut Kitty and the World Conference (1939), which was withdrawn by the Nazi government due to its “pro-English tendencies.” Although active in the German film industry during the Third Reich, Käutner’s work was noted for its more humanistic depiction of daily life than his contemporaries. He rejected the UFA filmmaking establishment and produced thoughtful works which considered the struggles of the German people during a period of great turmoil. Käutner continued to thrive as a director after the war with such critical successes as The Last Bridge (1954), a stark, realistic war drama which won the International Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Käutner moved to Hollywood where he produced two features for Universal Pictures: The Restless Years (1958) and Stranger in My Arms (1959) before returning to Germany to work in the television industry. 

All welcome. No fees. 

For further details please contact:
Dr Marion Pape
German Studies
University of KwaZulu-Natal
School of Arts
Durban, 4041
Tel: 0027-31-260 1086 / 2380
Fax: 0027-31-260 1242

Posted on