Don't Forget My Little Traudel

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Don't Forget My Little Traudel
Directed by Kurt Maetzig
Produced by Hans-Joachim Schoeppe
Written by Kurt Barthel
Starring Eva-Maria Hagen
Music by Hans Hendrik Wehding
Cinematography Erwin Anders
Edited by Ilse Peters
Distributed by PROGRESS-Film Verleih
Release date
15 November 1957
Running time
86 minutes
Country East Germany
Language German

Don't Forget My Little Traudel (German: Vergeßt mir meine Traudel nicht)[1] is an East German comedy film, directed by Kurt Maetzig. It was released in 1957.

Plot[edit]

Traudel is a war orphan, whose mother had died in the Ravensbrück concentration camp after refusing to renounce her love for a Czechoslovak prisoner. The only remnant the daughter has from her mother is a letter ending with the words "don't forget me, my little Traudel". When she turns seventeen, she flees the orphanage and ventures to Berlin, where she meets policeman Hannes, who falls in love with her and even forges documents for her. He is caught, but is only slightly reprimanded, and marries her.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

At the late 1950s, the East German cultural establishment allowed a certain liberalization in the national cinema industry, and a series of entertainment-oriented films was produced by DEFA as a result, mainly comedies.[2] Director Kurt Maetzig told an interviewer that he decided to create a light-hearted comedy after being exhausted by the work on "the all-too-serious" Castles and Cottages. He encountered difficulties when he tried to have the script approved for filming by the DEFA Commission, which criticized it for lack of morality an overly-sexual content; only the influence of the director and of writer Kurt Barthel enabled it to be authorized.[3] Maetzig was influenced by The Seven Year Itch when making Don't Forget My Little Traudel, and included a scene in which Eva-Maria Hagen's skirt fluttered in the wind in a manner reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe's famous appearance. The movie was the actress' debut on screen.[4][5]

Reception[edit]

Although Traudel was a commercial success, Maetzig complained that most critics did not respond well to the film: Mikhail Romm told that the director "betrayed Socialist Realism" after watching it.[3] The East German authorities continued to see it in negative light after its release.[6]

Antonin and Miera Liehm called the film "a tale of cheap sentimentality".[7] Joshua Feinstein wrote that "the director was certainly not above... depicting women in demeaning conventions... as a voluptuos ditz".[8] Sabine Hake noted that the film, while presenting the adventures of a teenage girl, still used the conventions of class struggle and other communist motifs when depicting society.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vergeßt mir meine Traudel nicht on DEFA foundation's website.
  2. ^ Dagmar Schittly. Zwischen Regie und Regime. Die Filmpolitik der SED im Spiegel der DEFA-Produktionen. ISBN 978-3-86153-262-0. Page 122.
  3. ^ a b Ingrid Poss. Spur der Filme: Zeitzeugen über die DEFA. Links Verlag (2006). ISBN 978-3-86153-401-3. Page 124.
  4. ^ Ralf Schenk. The Man who Made the Rabbit. Berliner Zeitung, 25 January 2005.
  5. ^ Don't Forget My Little Traudel. Retrospective 2011, Berlinale.
  6. ^ Schittly, page 122.
  7. ^ Miera Liehm, Antonin J. Liehm . The Most Important Art: Soviet and Eastern European Film After 1945. ISBN 0-520-04128-3. Page 262.
  8. ^ Joshua Feinstein. The Triumph of the Ordinary: Depictions of Daily Life in the East German Cinema, 1949-1989. ISBN 978-0-8078-5385-6. Page 134.
  9. ^ Sabine Hake. German National Cinema. Routledge (2002). ISBN 978-0-415-08901-2. Page 101.

External links[edit]