David Mendelsohn is a rich man with international connections living in Switzerland prior and during WWII. He is a leader of secret anti-Nazi organization where his son Robert is one of the active members. Robert often travels to Germany with a fictitious passports. On one of his trips he by chance meets a young German woman – vital, naïve, emotional, irresistible, who was trying to make a pop-singing career. Their love was sudden, spontaneous and wholehearted. Robert’s trips were always dangerous and Willie was always worried about him. Once he was absent for much longer than usual, and Willie became really afraid for him. Eventually she decided to do something rather eccentric – they already discussed with Robert plans of their wedding, she knew the address of his family in Switzerland and she decided to go there to ask his father is everything ok. It’s this moment of meeting between Willie and David, very brief in fact, because the patriarch who obviously knew very well who Willie is, refused to discuss with her anything and even didn’t invite her into the house, is registered in the still above.

The composition of this shot is very impressive. David spoke to Willie from the top of the staircase, standing on the upper floor, while we see Willie down in her coat. On the left we see a solid column which at least visually is connected with a massive windows reinforced with thick bars. It is, as if, the world of Mendelsohn’s interior is “imprisoned” within the style of a strict social hierarchy – there is no way for the person below to talk on equal with the person above. The prisoners of social hierarchization is the definition of many who lived during these times when Nazi Germany was starting its global conquest, spreading the ugliness of inequality and arrogance of hierarchical tops.

Posted on July/25/2017 – Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Lili Marleen” (1981) – The Young People and Nazism: Private Love Archetype and Socio-political and Family Structures Manipulating and Even Parasitizing on It by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on 9/27/2017 – “Lili Marleen” by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1981) by Acting-Out Politics