Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Kameradschaft (Comradeship)


Kameradschaft was made in 1931 and is based on real events that took place in 1906 on Franco-German border. There was a very severe fire at a French mine which trapped 1200 miners down below. In response the neighbouring German miners sent there own rescue squad to assist in the rescue effort and the recovery of the bodies. In Kameradschaft a similar accident occurs though this time in a mine that was split in two after the border was moved after World War One.

The situation is a little tense, both mines are directly competing with each other, but its not uncommon for French and German miners to cross the borders for entertainment though the unemployed are out of luck, adding to the rift between the two. There is also still some lingering feelings over the War and its aftermath, the Germans mention the occupation of the Ruhr. Nevertheless the German miners know how awful and deadly a fire in the mines can be and in solidarity with there fellow miners organise their rescue squad and cross the border on their own initiative.

The film was a plea for internationalism and friendship between all peoples by overcoming borders and language barriers. A lot of the scenes are bilingual with German and Frenchmen communicating with each other in clumsy manner, but they still manage to connect with each other.

Sadly since this was made in 1931 that plea went ignored as we all know, sadly the next time truckloads of helmeted and gas mask clad Germans burst across the border helping trapped Frenchmen was far from there minds. Though the French Fascists were willing to accept there offer of Friendship at least.

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