The Tin Drum to premiere at Goethe Institute

m_The Tin Drum to premiere at Goethe Institute

Goethe Institute brings yet another captivating, entertaining movie, produced in 1979. The Tin Drum is about a boy who decided to stop growing when witnessing the hypocrisies of adulthood and the absurdities of war. A sad, yet funny movie, shown in the director’s cut edition. The film begins in 1899, with the grandfather of Oskar Matzerath, the main character, being pursued by the police through rural Kashubia. Hiding underneath the skirts of a young woman named Anna Bronski, with whom he later marries and fathers a daughter – Oskar’s mother – he evades the authorities until he apparently drowns trying to escape them.

As time goes by, Anna’s daughter Agnes develops an incestuous affair with her cousin Jan Bronski, a worker in the Polish Post Office, until she is introduced to the charismatic Alfred Matzerath while serving as a nurse during World War I. The two men become firm friends, albeit love rivals, and later Agnes gives birth to a son, Oskar. Oskar has an adult mentality since birth and upon hearing from Alfred that he will inherit his grocery shop when he is an adult, he decides to stop growing by the age of three.

On Oskar’s third birthday he is given a tin drum, something that will remain with him for the rest of the film. Oskar throws himself down the cellar stairs, strangely injuring himself, and from that day on he does not grow any older. It is discovered that Oskar has the ability to shatter glass with his voice, which he uses to cause disruption whenever he is upset. Oskar uses his drum for similar purposes, such as disrupting a Nazi rally. During a visit to the circus, Oskar is introduced to Bebra, a performing dwarf whom Oskar can relate to.

When the four are on an outing to the beach, they see an eel-picker at work collecting eels from a washed-up horse’s head, a sight that makes Agnes repeatedly vomit. Alfred buys some of the eels and a confrontation begins when he insists that she eat them, ultimately leading to Agnes developing a strange addiction to raw fish, from which she gets food poisoning and eventually dies. At his mother’s funeral, Oskar witnesses an antisemitic assault on Sigismund Markus, the Jewish toymaker who supplies him with drums; Nazism is on the rise, and the Jewish and Polish residents of Danzig are under increasing pressure from the German community. Markus commits suicide during Kristallnacht, when his shop is attacked by SA men, and synagogues are burned down.

The Tin Drum will be aired at Goethe Institute Tuesday 3rd September 2013. Entrance will be free.

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